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With one day notice, Drillers to play at Dayton on Saturday

April 2, 2005 - National Indoor Football League (NIFL) - Beaumont Drillers News Release

BEAUMONT, TX -- No April Fool's joke here. With one day notice, the Beaumont Drillers will jump on an airplane leaving Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston early Saturday and fly to Dayton, Ohio to face the NIFL's newest team, the Warbirds.

The Drillers (2-1) were originally scheduled for a bye week, but were called upon by Dayton and the NIFL. Dayton was late joining the NIFL from the United Indoor Football League, and will have to play a 14-game schedule. With Beaumont and Lincoln the only two teams off this week, the Drillers accepted the challenge.

"We are committed to help out the league in any way," said Driller general manager Steve Reap. "It's short notice, but we want to see everyone succeed."

For the Drillers, the game will count as a win or loss on their record, but will not be used for or against the Drillers in case of a playoff tiebreaker at the end of the season. The stats will count as well.

Beaumont is coming off a 36-24 come-from-behind win at Cincinnati on March 26. This will be the Warbird's first game. They are loaded with former Ohio State Buckeyes including quarterback Steve Bellisari. The left-hander guided OSU from 1998-2001 and amassed 5,878 passing yards and 35 touchdowns. He was drafted in the 6th round of the NFL Draft in 2002 by the St. Louis Rams.

Running back Pepe Pearson played for OSU from 1994-1998 playing in four bowl games. His junior season, he rushed for 1,486 yards and 17 touchdowns and was named the Big 10 MVP. Pearson went on to play for the Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers and recently played in NFL-Europe.

The Warbirds are coached by Matthew King and play at the Nutter Center. The Nutter Center is home to the Wright State University basketball teams and the Dayton Bombers of the ECHL hockey league.

The Drillers will play at Lubbock on April 9 before returning to Ford Arena on April 16 as the team hosts the Cincinnati Marshals.

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