Xplorers defeat Vipers
SOUTHAVEN, MS --- The Memphis Xplorers shutout the Tennessee Valley Vipers 28-0 in the first half on their way to a 56-21 win Saturday night at the DeSoto Civic Center. The win improved the Xplorers' record to 3-0 and also gave team its 9th straight win when you include last season's regular season and playoffs.
"The defense came out and set the tone in the first half, with the pass rush picking it up in the second half," Xplorers Head Coach Danton Barto said.
Two Memphis players reached franchise career milestones in the game.
QB Brian Jones, who was the Schutt Offensive Player of the Game for the third consecutive game, surpassed Tim Lester as the all-time passing yards leader. His 244 yards for the game give him 5,780, two more than Lester, who played with the Xplorers in 2001 and 2002. Jones finished 17 of 26 for 244 yards and six scores. He also ran in a pair to bring his season rushing touchdown total to five.
"Jones doesn't make mistakes with the football," Barto said. "He makes good decisions with his passing and his scrambling. He is off to a very good start this season."
OL/DL Joseph Crear also put himself on top in the team's record books. His 1.5 sacks give him 17.5 in his career passing Khreem Smith, whose 17 sacks last season set the previous franchise mark. Overall, the Xplorers turned up the heat on defense with a season high four sacks. Chris Eggleston added a sack and a half with Dwan Wilson also notching a sack
Kenny Higgins, Tommy Manus and Terrell Adams all caught first down touchdowns with Jones running one in the first half to build the 28-0 advantage.
The Vipers, who had problems with penalties in the first half came out and scored on their first two possessions of the second half to get on the board. But, Memphis would answer after each Viper score to keep the game out of reach.
Adams led the Xplorers in receiving with six catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
"With Terrance Quattlebaum out, we needed Terrell to step and he truly did," Barto said.
Tennessee Valley QB Roger Linn struggled along with the rest of the Vipers offense on 10 of 26 passing for 157 yards, one interception and no touchdowns. Torrey Day caught 6 passes for 110 yards to pace the Vipers' receivers.
The 3-0 Xplorers travel to Florida to face the Firecats for the second time in three weeks next Saturday at 6:30. The Vipers, who fell to 1-2, return home after two straight road games to host Macon next Saturday night.
The Memphis Xplorers...2005 ArenaCup Champions
The Xplorers are defending their Arena Cup Championship in 2006 and you can be in on the action.
Season Tickets are still available for as low as $7 a game. Or, take advantage of the Xplorers 4-Pack or fantastic discounts for groups of 15 or more. Don't miss all the action of the "50-Yard Indoor War." For ticket information call the Xplorers office at 662-342-1755.
Single game tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, by calling 901-525-1515 or in person at the DeSoto Civic Center box office during business hours.
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