Xplorers Seek Playoff Berth, First Victory over Tulsa Saturday
Southaven, MS-The Memphis Xplorers of the af2 will play host to the Tulsa Talons this Saturday at the DeSoto Civic Center. Both teams are coming off loses in week 13 of the season.
Memphis (10-2) comes into the game tied for the best overall record in the league, and with a two-game lead for the number one seed in the National Conference. The Tulsa Talons are currently fourth in the conference at 8-4. The number two, three, and four spots are all 8-4 entering week 15.
The Xplorers and Talons have met four times in af2 history. Their most recent meeting was on May 3rd, 2003. Memphis battled throughout the game, but came up short, falling 61-57. That was the second meeting of the season. Tulsa won the earlier contest in Oklahoma by four points. The Talons went on to win the ArenaCup that season.
"This is a must win game for us this weekend," said Xplorers Head Coach Danton Barto. "Tulsa is a very good football team and we have to be ready for them. This is probably one of the biggest regular season games ever for our franchise."
Memphis lost a heartbreaker on the road to the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz on June 24th. The Xplorers played the game in the absence of the regular quarterback Brian Jones. Jones was out with an injury, but will return to action this weekend. "Brian is a tough kid, and wanted to play in that game," said Barto. "Michael Wall did a great job filling in for him on short notice, and with a short week of preparation. We are very excited to get Brian back for this game. He is having an MVP like season, and we believe he can lead us all the way to the ArenaCup."
A win this weekend will clinch a playoff berth for the Xplorers for the second consecutive season. With four games remaining in the 2005 regular season, the Xplorers magic number clinching the division is two. A win and an Amarillo loss this weekend will clinch the Mid West Division for Memphis, and grant the Xplorers a first round bye in the playoffs.
Game time is scheduled for 7:05 pm. All Xplorers games can be heard on SportsRadio WMC The Mighty 790 AM. Single game tickets start as low as $7 and can be purchased by calling 662-342-1755, visiting the DeSoto Civic Center box office, or by logging onto www.TicketMaster.com today. Memphis Xplorers Arena Football! Back in Black!
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