Xplorers had record-setting regular season
SOUTHAVEN --- While the defending ArenaCup Champion Memphis Xplorers prepare to open the 2006 af2 playoffs this Saturday night versus the Louisville Fire at the DeSoto Civic Center, a look back at the regular season reveals several record setting performances. During the just completed regular season, Xplorers players broke or tied 14 different major career, single season and single game records.
Quarterback Brian Jones led the charge, claiming seven new marks. Jones' 3937 yards passing and 81 touchdown passes are new single-season records. His eight scoring tosses in the win over South Georgia on June 24 tied the single-game franchise record and his 45 yard run at South Georgia on May 13 set the standard as the longest run from scrimmage in team history. Career-wise, the third year Jones now leads the franchise in passing yards with 8899, touchdown passes with 172 and rushing yards with 573.
WR/DB Deon Giddens had a huge season in the tackle department. He established new records for single-game tackles with 13 in the season opening win at Tennessee Valley, single-season tackles with 97.5 and career tackles with 150. Giddens and defensive teammate Scott Cunningham tied a single-game team record with two interceptions in separate games on June 3 and July 15, respectively.
Early in the season, OL/DL Joseph Crear reclaimed the franchise's career sack crown with number 17.5. Crear was the franchise leader entering the 2005 season with 12 sacks, but Khreem Smith's 17 sacks in 2005 knocked Crear off the top of the list. After collecting a team-high 7.5 sacks this season, Crear's total now stands at 22, tying him for ninth all-time in af2.
Kevin Prentiss, a holder of 14 career, single season and single game franchise records, became af2's all-time kickoff return yards leader during the season and now has 3681. He also added to his already league record kickoff return for a touchdown total with his 14th. Prentiss' name is featured prominently in the af2 record books. At the conclusion of the regular season, the fourth-year Xplorer is 5th in points scored (738); 4th in overall touchdowns scored (123); 8th in pass receptions (321); 3rd in receiving yards (4848) and 5th in TD receptions (108).
The special teams units were not immune from this record book assault. Kicker Steven Azar kicked the longest regular season field goal with a 45 yarder in the win over Bossier-Shreveport on May 20. OL/DL Chris Eggleston shattered the franchise's record for single-season blocked kicks with five. The old record was two.
As a team, the Xplorers scored more points, picked up more first downs, blocked more kicks, passed for more yards, passed for more touchdowns and had more total offense in 2006 than in any other season.
There's another record, maybe the most significant of them all, that the team will begin to shoot for this Saturday night at the DCC. The af2 record for consecutive ArenaCup Championships is two, accomplished by Quad City in 2000 and 2001.
NEW XPLORERS REGULAR SEASON RECORDS SET OR TIED IN 2006
CATEGORY OLD RECORD NEW/TIED RECORD
CAREER PASSING YARDS 5779-Tim Lester ('01-'02) 8899-Brian Jones ('04-'06)
CAREER TD PASSES 102-Tim Lester ('01-'02) 172-Brian Jones ('04-'06)
CAREER RUSHING YARDS 402-Quentin Cradle ('01) 573-Brian Jones ('04-'06)
CAREER SACKS 17-Khreem Smith ('05) 22-Joseph Crear ('03-'06)
CAREER TACKLES 143.5-Keith Spann ('01-'04) 150-Deon Giddens ('05-'06)
SINGLE SEASON PASSING YDS 3817-Tim Lester ('02) 3937-Brian Jones ('06)
SINGLE SEASON TD PASSES 69-Brian Jones ('05) 81-Brian Jones ('06)
SINGLE SEASON TACKLES 75-Kevin Cobb ('03) 97.5-Deon Giddens ('06)
SINGLE SEASON BLOCKED KICKS 2-Five times 5-Chris Eggleston ('06)
SINGLE GAME TD PASSES 8-Tim Lester (5/25/02) 8-Brian Jones (6/24/06)
SINGLE GAME INTERCEPTIONS 2-Held by 8 players 2-Giddens /Cunningham
SINGLE GAME TACKLES 11.5-Kenzaki Jones (7/3/04) 13-Deon Giddens (4/1/06)
LONGEST RUN FROM SCRIMMAGE 38-Rod Robinson (5/3/03) 45-Brian Jones (5/13/06)
LONGEST FIELD GOAL 42-Jeff Walker (5/11/02) 45-Steven Azar (5/20/06)
NEW XPLORERS REGULAR SEASON TEAM RECORDS SET OR TIED IN 2006
CATEGORY OLD RECORD NEW/TIED RECORD
SINGLE GAME YARDS PER PLAY 10.6 (6/26/04) 10.8 (vs S. Georgia, 6/24/06)
SINGLE GAME FIRST DOWNS 23 (5/25/02) 23 (3 times in 2006)
POINTS IN A SEASON 892 (2005) 911
FIRST DOWNS IN A SEASON 251 (2005) 300
PASSING YARDS IN SEASON 3838 (2002) 4267
TOUCHDOWN PASSES IN A SEASON 76 (2005) 88
TOTAL OFFENSE IN A SEASON 4126 (2002) 4688
FEWEST TIMES SACKED IN A SEASON 16 (2005) 16
FEWEST LOST FUMBLES 23 (2003/2004) 15
MOST BLOCKED KICKS 8 (2005) 12 (also tied af2 record)
Tickets for the Xplorers' August 5 home playoff game at 7 pm are on sale now.
Call TicketMaster at 901-525-1515, go to www.ticketmaster.com or stop by the DeSoto Civic Center Box Office during business hours. Playoff tickets for groups of 12 or more are discounted up to $14 a ticket. Call 662-342-1755 for group ticket information.
Listen to all the action on the radio home of the Xplorers, 730 ESPN.
Be sure to head to O'Charley's on Goodman Road in Southaven after every Xplorers home game for the official post game party.
Listen to the Danton Barto Show every Monday at 6pm on 730 ESPN live from The Fox and Hound in Southaven.
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