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Wichita Stealth game notes

May 4, 2004 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Wichita Stealth News Release

Wichita Stealth (4-0)
At Rio Grande Valley Dorados (3-1)
Date: Saturday, May 8, 2004
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CST
Site: Dodge Arena (5,500)
National Anthem:
Coin Toss: David Malone
Officials: David Malone (Referee),
Al Granado (Umpire), Bradford Edwards (Head Linesman), Wayne Winkler (Line Judge), Frank LeBlanc (Back Judge)
Radio: All Stealth games can be heard live on 96.3 KRZZ FM. Jay Sanderson and C.J. will be calling the action all season long for the Stealth.
Series Record: This will be the first meeting ever between these two teams.
Last Meeting: First Meeting
Streaks: Wichita W-4; Rio Grande Valley W-2
Coaches: WIC: Sean Ponder (4-0, 2nd season) RGV: Gary Gussman (3-1, 1st season)


THE STAKES: Wichita tries to become 5-0 for the first time in franchise history and keep their perfect road record in tact. The Stealth are also trying to stay in first place atop the Southwest Division.

THE SERIES: This will be the first of three meetings this season between these two Southwest Division foes.

If Wichita defeats Rio Grande Valley, it would …
· Give Wichita a 1-0 series record over Rio Grande Valley
· Give Wichita a 2-0 road record in 2004
· Give Sean Ponder a 9-5-1 career record as head coach
· Give Wichita a five game win streak
· Give Wichita their first ever 5-0 start
· Give Wichita a two-game lead over the Dorados in the Southwest Division.

Date Opponent Result Score
4/3 PEORIA W 33-13
4/10 LAREDO W 44-22
4/16 @ Peoria W 47-26
4/24 GREEN BAY W 68-53
Date Opponent Time Streak Series
5/8 @ Rio Grande 7:30 W-2 First Meeting
5/15 @ Quad City 7:30 W-1 QUA 4-1
5/22 @ Oklahoma City 7:30 W-1 First Meeting
5/29 LAREDO 7:00 L-4 WIC 1-0
6/5 @ Tulsa 7:30 L-1 TUL 5-1
6/12 OKLAHOMA CITY 7:00 -- --
6/19 TULSA 7:00 -- --
7/3 @ Rio Grande 7:30 -- --
7/10 @ Tulsa 7:30 -- --
7/17 OKLAHOMA CITY 7:00 -- --
7/24 @ Laredo 7:30 -- WIC 1-0
7/31 RIO GRANDE 7:00 -- --

Date Opponent Result Score
4/3 LAREDO W 37-6
4/10 @ Oklahoma City L 17-55
4/24 OKLAHOMA CITY W 44-41
5/1 @ Laredo W 58-38
Date Opponent Time Streak Series
5/8 WICHITA 7:30 W-4 First Meeting
5/15 @ Central Valley 7:30 L-4 --
5/22 LAREDO 7:30 L-4 RGV 2-0
5/28 @ Tulsa 7:30 L-1 First Meeting
6/12 TULSA 6:30 -- --
6/18 @ Bossier City 7:30 W-1 First Meeting
6/26 @ Birmingham 6:30 W-3 First Meeting
7/3 WICHITA 7:30 -- --
7/10 OKLAHOMA CITY 6:30 W-1 Tied 1-1
7/17 @ Tulsa 7:30 -- --
7/24 ARKANSAS 7:30 L-2 First Meeting
7/31 @ Wichita 6:30 -- --

STEALTH HEAD COACH AT A GLANCE: Sean Ponder begins his second season in arena football. He took over the Stealth last season after seven games. Ponder led the Stealth to their second consecutive playoff berth in af2. He brings over five years of college coaching experience to Wichita. He previously served as the offensive coordinator at Orange Coast Community College in California. At Orange Coast, he helped turn around a program that had not won over two games the past three seasons into a junior college powerhouse.

RIO GRANDE VALLEY HEAD COACH AT A GLANCE: Dorados head coach Gary Gussman is originally from Miami, Florida and begins his first season as an af2 head coach after spending six seasons as an assistant coach within the Arena Football League (AFL). Gussman began his career as a Special Teams Coordinator with the Connecticut Coyotes in 1995, then spent four seasons (1998-01) with the Houston Thunderbears as the Special Teams Coordinator/Player Personnel. He most recently served as the Special Teams Coordinator with the Orlando Predators during the 2002 AFL season.

THE LAST TIME WE MET (A recap of the last meeting): This will be the first of three games that these two Southwest Division rivals will have in 2004. Wichita will travel to Rio Grande Valley again on July 3rd and the Dorados will make their only appearance in Wichita on July 31st.

HEY, DON’T I KNOW YOU? (A look at some familiar faces)
Dorados wide receiver/linebacker Donte Wells was in training camp with the Stealth in 2003…Stealth defensive specialists Ty Ardoin and Charles Johnson both played at Texas Tech with the Dorados defensive specialist Anthony Terrell…Ardoin also played with the Houston Thunderbears when Dorados head coach Gary Gussman was on the Thunderbears staff…Stealth assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Troy Biladeau coached Dorados lineman Spencer Conley in Cape Fear during the 2002 playoffs.

LEAGUE TOP 10s: Players from this week’s matchup who ranked among af2’s statistical leaders in 2004:
Player Rank Category Stat
Aaron Sparrow 5th Pass Rating 113.0
Ty Ardoin T-2nd Interceptions 3
Aaron Sparrow 3rd Passing Yards/Game 258.8
Aaron Sparrow 5th Passing Yards 1035
Aaron Sparrow 7th Total Offense 1034
Dylan Pohlman T-5th PAT Kicking 21-28 (75%)
David Hurst T-2nd Fumbles Forced 2
Daren Williams T-4th Tackles For Loss 3.0
Cliff Holloman T-4th Tackles For Loss 3.0
David Hurst T-5th Tackles For Loss 2.5
Marc Bacote T-3rd Sacks 2.5
David Hurst T-3rd Sacks 2.5
Cliff Holloman T-4th Sacks 2.0
Markevius Woods T-4th Sacks 2.0
Player Rank Category Stat
Eric Houle T-3rd Scoring (Kick) 30 pts
Manwell Talbert 8th Rushing 12.8
Eric Houle 2nd Field Goals 4-16 (25%)
Donte Wells T-3rd Fumbles Recovered 2
Karleton Thomas T-1st Tackles For Loss 5.0
Nick Thomas 2nd Passes Defended 13
Karleton Thomas T-2nd Sacks 3.0
Tim Cook T-3rd Sacks 2.5
Raymond James T-4th Sacks 2.0
Danny Perez T-4th Sacks 2.0
Spencer Conley T-5th Sacks 1.5

LOOKING BACK: Two weeks ago, Stealth quarterback Aaron Sparrow turned in a record setting performance in a 68-53 Stealth victory over the Green Bay Blizzard. Sparrow ended the night 29-of-44 for 382 yards (a franchise record) with eight touchdown passes. Sparrow’s main target on the night was Stealth offensive specialist Damon Thompson. In his first game with the Stealth, Thompson caught 12 balls for 161 yards and five touchdowns earning Baby Ruth Real Deal Offensive Player of the Game honors.

Category Rank Stat Rank Stat
Scoring Offense 10th 48.0 T-19th 39.0
Scoring Defense 1st 28.5 3rd 35.0
Total Offense 6th 269.5 21st 199.8
Total Defense 2nd 185.2 6th 213.2
Pass Offense 7th 251.0 21st 174.0
Pass Defense 2nd 165.2 9th 212.2
Rushing Offense 11th 18.5 T-8th 25.8
Rushing Defense 13th 20.0 1st 1.0
Scoring 12th 168 16th 126
Scoring (Kicking) T-9th 24 T-4th 30
Pass Rating 8th 108.3 17th 94.2
Pass Def. Rating 3rd 83.3 10th 101.3
Kickoff Returns 20th 15.8 T-10th 19.4
MFG Returns 14th 13.7 15th 13.3
Turnover Margin T-7th +1 T-7th +1
Field Goals % T-8th 25% T-8th 25%
PAT Kicking % 11th 75% (21-28) 3rd 85.7% (18-21)
Sacks By T-1st 14 T-1st 14
Sacks Against T-6th 6 9th 12
First Downs 13th 56 14th 53
Opp. First Downs 1st 41 12th 60
Penalties 5th 47.8 21st 79.0
Opp. Penalties 2nd 32.8 3rd 33.0

Pos. Name Injury Status
OS Jonathan Jackson Shoulder Long Term IR
QB Heath Ridenour Shoulder Long Term IR
DS Antoine Williams Ankle Long Term IR
WR/DB Alan Jones Long Term IR

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: (Notable quotes):
SEAN PONDER, On the victory over Green Bay: “You could tell that their game plan was to stop Dritlein and Damon Thompson had a field day.”

On the performance of the Stealth offense: “The offense really came together tonight. Aaron Sparrow turned in one of the greatest performances I have ever seen. He put the football in the right place and took advantage of what the defense gave him.”

REACHING FOR RECORDS: (A look at upcoming milestones): Stealth quarterback Aaron Sparrow surpassed the 1,000 career attempt mark in the game versus Green Bay and surpassed Kane Claunch for 9th place on the all-time passing yardage list. He is also only 1,959 yards away from 10,000 career yards, and only 50 touchdown passes short of 200. There are only three other af2 quarterbacks who have thrown for 10,000 yards and 200 touchdowns. (Ricky Hebert, Craig Strickland, and Bryan Snyder). Listed below are the top ten passers in af2 history.

All-Time af2 Passers
Sherard Poteete Bossier City 11,942
Bryan Snyder T. Valley 11,647
Craig Strickland Oklahoma City 11,588
Ricky Hebert 10,779
Bob Bees 9,481
Anthony Buich 9,479
Matt Sauk Louisville 9,303
Chris Windsor Columbus 8,522
Aaron Sparrow Wichita 8,041
Kane Claunch San Diego 7,963
Players with a team listed are still active
ADVANCE BOOKING: (A look at upcoming Stealth games):
The Stealth will continue their three game road swing next week when they travel to take on Quad City on May 15, and then travel to Oklahoma City on May 22.

FLY-BY’s: (A look at team trends and tidbits):
STEALTH RETURNERS: The Stealth return eight members from a team that recorded the franchise record for wins last season. They return defensive specialist Ty Ardoin, offensive/defensive lineman Dustin Fish, offensive/defensive lineman Cliff Holloman, wide receiver/defensive back Brian Livingston, fullback/linebacker Jeff Macrea, fullback/linebacker Daren Williams, offensive/defensive lineman Markevius Woods, and offensive specialist Michael Dritlein.

GETTING DEFENSIVE: After finishing the 2003 season ranked near the middle of the af2 in almost every defensive category, the Stealth have started the 2004 season off with a bang on the defensive side of the ball. Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Troy Biladeau has his defense near the top of every defensive category. The Stealth rank 1st in scoring defense (only allowing 28.5 points per game), 2nd in total defense (185.2 yards per game), 2nd in pass defense (165.2 yards per game), and 3rd in pass defense rating (83.3 rating).

SHUTTING THEM DOWN: So far this season the Stealth have shut out their opponents in seven of the sixteen quarters they have played. Last season, they only had four quarters of shut out football all season long.

THEN THERE WERE TWO: After last weekend, there are only two teams that remain undefeated in af2, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers and the Wichita Stealth. Both teams are a perfect 4-0, the only difference between the two is that the Pioneers are in the American Conference-Northeast Division and the Stealth are in the National Conference-Southwest Division. The Pioneers will travel this weekend to take on the 0-4 Albany Conquest.

QUARTERBACKS BEWARE?: This week’s match-up features the top two teams in sacks in af2. Both Rio Grande Valley and Wichita are tied for first in the league with 14 sacks. On the other hand, the Stealth have only given up six sacks all year long, while the Dorados have given up 12.

“THE REAL DEAL”: Following his performance in the game versus the Green Bay Blizzard, Stealth quarterback Aaron Sparrow was named the af2’s Baby Ruth Real Deal Offensive Player of the Week. Sparrow turned in the eighth best passing night in af2 history, and a Stealth franchise record, throwing for 382 yards against the Blizzard. The af2 record is 459 yards by Shane Stafford of the Tallahassee Thunder at the Birmingham Steeldogs on June 2, 2000.

WELCOME TO OUR GAME: When it comes to playing expansion teams, the Stealth are 13-7 all-time versus first year clubs. They have had a winning record against expansion teams all three seasons: 2001: 7-4, 2002: 3-2, and 2003: 2-1. Earlier this season, the Stealth continued their winning ways against expansion teams when they defeated the Laredo Law, 44-22 on April 10th in Wichita.

TOP GUNS: (A look at players and match-ups to watch):
Stealth QB Aaron Sparrow: Sparrow brings two years of af2 experience to Wichita and looks to break the 10,000 yard passing mark for his career this season. Sparrow has also thrown for 150 touchdowns in his 36 game af2 career. Sparrow was named the offensive player of the year in 2000 as well as All-af2 quarterback.

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK, Stealth offensive specialist Damon Thompson: The Stealth offense was strengthened the week of the Green Bay game when they were assigned offensive specialist Damon Thompson. Thompson played last season with the Richmond Speed and finished the season fourth in the af2 in receiving yardage with 1,569 yards and 27 touchdowns.

Stealth WR/DB Brian Livingston: Livingston returns to Wichita for his second straight year. Last year, Livingston led the Stealth in tackles, interceptions, and forced fumbles. This season he leads the team in tackles and is 2nd in interceptions thus far. Along with Sparrow, Livingston was also named to the 2000 All-af2 team as a defensive specialist.

STEALTH FLIGHT PLAN: (A look at the Stealth schedule this week)
Wednesday: 6:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. PRACTICE (The Sports Zone)
Thursday: 6:30 am – 8:30 am PRACTICE (The Sports Zone)
9: 00 p.m. -- Depart for Hidalgo, Texas
Friday: 5:00 pm PRACTICE (Dodge Arena, Hidalgo, Texas)
Saturday: 7:30 p.m. KICKOFF!!!

RECENT STEALTH ROSTER MOVES (most recent first):
Date Action Player
4/29 ACTIVATED FROM SHORT TERM IR Christopher Highshaw
4/29 PLACED ON SHORT TERM IR Jimmy Hamilton
4/29 PLACED ON SHORT TERM IR Michael Dritlein
4/21 ASSIGNED Damon Thompson
4/21 PLACED ON SHORT TERM IR Daren Williams

Week Opp. Player
1 Peoria Aaron Sparrow-Wichita
2 Laredo Anthony Griffin-Wichita
3 @ Peoria Michael Dritlein-Wichita
4 Green Bay Damon Thompson-Wichita

ARMY IRONMAN AWARD (selected by media)
Week Opp. Player
1 Peoria Daren Williams-Wichita
2 Laredo Marc Bacote-Wichita
3 @ Peoria Brian Livingston-Wichita
4 Green Bay Brian Livingston-Wichita

(selected by media)
Week Opp. Player
1 Peoria Cliff Holloman-Wichita
2 Laredo Cliff Holloman-Wichita
3 @ Peoria Marc Bacote-Wichita
4 Green Bay Ty Ardoin-Wichita

Week Offensive Defensive Ironman
1 Jeff Hewitt-Quad City Karleton Thomas-Rio Grande Valley Jerrian James-Tennessee Valley
2 Randall Lane-Green Bay Jerry Turner-Birmingham Al Hunt-Oklahoma City
3 Matt Burstein-Cape Fear Justin Thomas-Louisville Leroy McFadden-Wilkes-Barre
4 Aaron Sparrow-Wichita Demetrius Forney-Louisville Bjorn Barre-Tulsa
5 Chris Sanders-Manchester Matt Forbes-Quad City Steve Gorrie-Florida

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