In week 17 of the Silver Anniversary season of the AFL, the South Division, home of the Tampa Bay Storm, features three games with two divisional standoffs, and one intra-conference matchup between the Tampa Bay Storm and the Philadelphia Soul.
The Philadelphia Soul (12-3, 3-2) head to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, home of the Tampa Bay Storm (6-8, 3-4) in the teams’ second matchup of the season. The Soul, with the league’s top rated offense, comes into the Forum looking to stay undefeated on the season against the Storm. Meanwhile Tampa Bay, with a win over Soul, could gain control of the #4 seed in the American Conference should the Georgia Force lose to Orlando Predators Sunday afternoon.
The defending ArenaBowl Champion Jacksonville Sharks (7-7, 3-3) take a trip to the Graveyard to take on the New Orleans VooDoo (7-7, 4-1). The Sharks and VooDoo are both tied for the South Division lead, and a victory over the other could help their chances of securing the #2 seed in the American Conference.
The Orlando Predators (2-12, 2-4) faceoff against the Georgia Force (7-8, 3-3) in this week’s final South Division matchup. Orlando, coming off a gut wrenching loss to the VooDoo, is looking for their first win on the road this season. The Force looks to keep a firm grasp on the #4 seed and can improve their chances of seeing the playoffs, with a win over the Predators.
PHILADELPHIA SOUL (12-3) at TAMPA BAY STORM (6-8) 7:30 PM ET
Series: Soul lead 4-3
Streaks: W 5 | L 3
Coaches vs. Opp: Plank : 7-3 | Ewart: 1-2
Last Week: W 69-34 vs. Pittsburgh Power | L 56-77 vs. San Antonio Talons
Last Game: 4/20/2012: Philadelphia defeated Tampa Bay, 83-48.
Last Game in Tampa: 6/09/2007: Tampa Bay defeated Philadelphia, 69-59.
STATS LEADERS (PHI | TAM)
Passing: Raudabaugh: 312-466-4084-94-16-119.67 | Wasil: 231-389-2753-55-16-99.27
Rushing: Ross: 122-481-3.9-27 | Wasil: 40-87-2.2-12
Receiving: Jones: 121-1806-14.9-41 | Rodriguez: 98-1316-13.4-29
Offense: 324.2 | 290.5
Turnover Margin: +17 | -9
Defense: 282.3 | 274.5
Sacks: Robinson: 9 | Phillips: 6
INTs: Richardson: 12 | Swanson: 5
Kicking: Hughes: 70 (70/77 PAT; 0/0 FG) | Bongarra: 94 (88/104 PAT; 2/13 FG)
SOUL: This is the second meeting between the two teams this season and eighth overall… On April 20 in Philadelphia, the Soul defeated the Storm, 83-48… The Soul holds a 4-3 edge overall in the series… The Soul has the top offense in the AFL, averaging 67.6 points per game… The Soul has the third ranked scoring defense in the AFL (50.5 points per game)… The Soul defense enters the game second in the AFL with 29 interceptions on the season. They have collected the most turnovers of any defensive unit in the AFL… The Soul’s 37 turnovers is the sixth most in the AFL… QB DAN RAUDABAUGH is 178 passing yards shy of Tony Graziani’s single-season franchise record of 4,262, set in 2005… Raudbaugh has posted 4,084 yards and 94 TDs this season. His 94 TDs is a Soul franchise record… FB DERRICK ROSS has scored a rushing touchdown in every game played this season… Ross is 18 rushing yards shy of moving into eighth place all-time on the AFL’s list of career rushing yardage leaders. Ross has 1,103 career rushing yards… Ross is two rushing touchdowns shy of moving into eighth place all-time on the AFL’s list of career rushing touchdown leaders. Ross has 66 career rushing touchdowns… In Week 16, WR TIGER JONES moved past AFL Hall of Famer Stevie Thomas for 22nd place all-time on the AFL’s list of career touchdown receptions leaders. Jones has 154 touchdown catches in his career… He is on pace to break every Soul single-season reception record. He currently has 114 receptions for 1,688 yards and 38 TDs… WR DONOVAN MORGAN has caught a touchdown pass in eight consecutive games played… In Week 16, Morgan moved into 30th place on the AFL’s list of career receiving touchdowns leaders. Morgan has 132 career receiving scores… WR JEFF HUGHLEY broke Steve Smith’s single season franchise record of 1,425 kickoff return yards, set in 2005. Hughley has 1,506 kickoff return yards on the year… Hughley is 17 combined return yards shy of Steve Smith’s single-season franchise record of 1,523, set in 2005… DL BRYAN ROBINSON set a new AFL single-season mark by recording his seventh blocked kick in Week 16… Robinson is one blocked kick shy of moving into a tie with Jermaine Smith for first place all-time on the AFL’s list of career blocked kicks leaders. Robinson has 11 blocked kicks in his career… Robinson is 0.5 sacks shy of Gabe Nyenhuis’ single-season franchise record of 9.5, set in 2008… DL DUSTY BEAR spent time with the Storm in 2010… DB KENT RICHARDSON is one interception shy of the single-season franchise record of 13, set by Eddie Moten in 2006… DB RAYSHAUN KIZER has recorded an interception in four consecutive games… Kizer recorded his 38th career interception in Week 16, moving him into sole possession of 13th place all-time on the AFL’s list of career interceptions leaders… He is 42 interception return yards shy of his own single-season AFL record of 237, set in 2011… Kizer leads the Soul with 23 PBUs… Both Kizer and Richardson have combined 22 INTs, four of which were returned for TD.
STORM: Tampa Bay is coming off of its first home loss of the season… The Storm are now 0-12 when giving up 70 points or more… The 77 points the Storm allowed to the San Antonio Talons in Week 16 represent the most points allowed at home in Storm franchise history… The Storm recorded a season-high 389 yards of total offense in Week 16… QB NICK HILL is entering just his third start under center and second at home. Hill is coming off an NFL offseason stint with the Green Bay Packers after signing with the team prior to the 2012 AFL season… Hill has passed for more than 300 yards in all three games played with the Storm in 2012… Hill has rushed for a TD in three consecutive games… Hill’s 353 yards in Week 16 put him over the 10,000-yard mark for his career. He now has 10,086 passing yards for his AFL career… Hill rushed for a Storm season-high 35 yards in Week 16… WR PRECHAE RODRIGUEZ ranks tenth in the AFL in receiving yards per game (101.2)… Rodriguez has tallied 98 receptions this season. The mark ranks tenth in the League… In Tampa’s loss to San Antonio last week, Rodriguez posted eight receptions for 86 yards and a TD… WR AMARRI JACKSON has posted 30 receptions for 428 yards and 8 TDs since Hill’s return… Jackson has recorded a catch in 26 consecutive games and a TD grab in seven straight… WR DE’CODY FAGG posted 10 receptions for 127 and a TD in his first start last week… DL PERNELL PHILLIPS and DL STEVE OCTAVIEN have combined for 10 sacks on the season… DB RILEY SWANSON has INTs in back-to-back games entering the game. He has recorded three interceptions in the last four games.
JACKSONVILLE SHARKS (7-7) AT NEW ORLEANS VOODOO (7-7) 8:00 PM ET
Series: Sharks lead 3-0
Streaks: W 1 | W 2
Coaches vs. Opp: Moss: 3-0 | O’Hara: 2-5
Last Week: W 56-42 vs. Cleveland Gladiators | W 48-41 at Orlando Predators
Last Game: 5/04/2012: Jacksonville defeated New Orleans, 41-37.
Last Game At Site: 6/03/2011: Jacksonville defeated New Orleans, 62-55.
Broadcast: “AFL Live” on Ustream
STATS LEADERS (JAX | NOV)
Passing: Morris: 140-241-1610-38-11-98.73 | Rocco: 320-521-4296-82-13-116.57
Rushing: Morris: 42-231-5.5-6 | Bush: 21-73-3.5-3
Receiving: Smith: 92-1097-11.9-28 | Castile: 90-1059-11.8-22
Offense: 259.8 | 314.1
Turnover Margin: -9 | +22
Defense: 274.0 | 290.6
Sacks: Berry: 7.5 | Favorite: 3
INTs: 2 tied with 4 | Jackson: 12
Kicking: Capozzoli: 98 (74/89 PAT; 8/8 FG) | Marfuggi: 16 (10/16 PAT; 2/4 FG)
SHARKS: The Sharks are coming off a 56-42 victory over the Cleveland Gladiators in Week 16… The team’s rushing offense ranks second in the AFL with 32.3 yards per game… The Sharks own the fifth ranked scoring defense in the AFL (51.3 points per game)…The Sharks pass offense ranks 16th in the AFL (227.5 yards per game)… The team has allowed 251 opponent first downs. The mark ranks second in the AFL… Jacksonville has given up 36.6 penalty yards per game, the second least in the AFL… QB BERNARD MORRIS is 16 rushing yards shy of Kirby Griffin’s single-season franchise record of 247, set in 2011… Morris leads the League with an average of 5.5 yards per rush this season… He completed a season-high 77.1 percent of his passes in Week 16… Morris replaced Omar Jacobs on May 4th against the New Orleans VooDoo. Morris completed 8-of-20 passes for 66 yards and 2 TDs in the win. He also added five rushes for 26 yards… In Week 16, WR TERRANCE SMITH broke Jeff Hughley’s single season franchise record of 1,476 combined kick return yards, set in 2011. Smith has 1,301 combined kick return yards this season… With 84 kickoff return yards in Week 16, Smith tied Hughley’s single-season franchise record of 1,429, set in 2011… Smith led the Sharks with seven receptions for 61 yards and 2 TDs in the team’s last outing against New Orleans this season. He also tallied four kickoff returns for 64 yards in the game… Smith is tied for seventh in the AFL in receiving TDs with 28… He has tallied 52 MFG return yards this season. The mark ranks fourth in the League… WR BOBBY SEWALL has recorded a receiving touchdown in each of his last three games played, but has not played in two weeks… Sewall recorded six receptions for 92 yards when the Sharks played the VooDoo on May 4th… WR JAMARKO SIMMONS has recorded a receiving touchdown in each of the last four games… He posted four receptions for 42 yards and a TD against the VooDoo earlier this season… DB LAROCHE JACKSON has four interceptions over the last four games. He posted two INTs last week against Cleveland… Jackson led the Sharks defense with 4.5 total tackles and a forced fumble against the VooDoo this season… Jackson is tied for 15th in the AFL in total tackles with 72.5… He has recorded 4 INTs for 104 yards and a TD this season. His 104 interception return yards rank 10th in the AFL… The team has posted DB MICHEAUX ROBINSON recorded his second two-interception game of the season in Week 16… Robinson has recorded three fumble recoveries this season…
VOODOO: The VooDoo have captured two consecutive victories… The VooDoo rank first in the AFL in turnover margin with a +22 mark on the year… The team has posted 54.1 points per game, a mark that ranks ninth in the AFL… QB KURT ROCCO has thrown an interception in three consecutive games… Rocco is 361 passing yards shy of Andy Kelly’s single-season franchise record of 4,657, set in 2005… Rocco ranks third in the AFL in total offense with 310.8 yards per game… Rocco completed 16-of-26 balls for 198 yards and 4 TDs against the Sharks on May 4… WR L.J. CASTILE has caught a touchdown pass in every game played this year… Castile recorded five catches for 84 yards and a TD against the Sharks this season… WR JOSH BUSH has caught a touchdown pass in seven straight games…Bush has tallied 14.7 yards per catch. The mark ranks fourth in the AFL… Bush’s streak of consecutive weeks with at least two receiving touchdowns was snapped at six… DL MARLON FAVORITE recorded a team season-high two sacks in Week 16… LB ALVIN RAY JACKSON has recorded at least one interception four weeks in a row and in six of the last seven games… Jackson is tied for the League lead in interceptions with 12… He recorded 4.5 total tackles, and a TFL for three yards in his last outing against Jacksonville… DB DEMARCUS ROBINSON recorded a team season-high 11.5 tackles in Week 16.
ORLANDO PREDATORS (2-12) AT GEORGIA FORCE (7-8) 3:00 PM ET
Series: Georgia leads 10-8
Streaks: L 1 | L 2
Coaches vs. Opp: Munsey: 2-3 | Cokinos: 1-4
Last Week: L 41-48 vs. New Orleans VooDoo | L 38-61 at Utah Blaze
Last Game: 4/20/2012: Orlando defeated Georgia, 27-24.
Last Game at Site: 4/16/2011: Orlando defeated Georgia, 48-43.
Broadcast: “AFL Live” on Ustream
STATS LEADERS (ORL | GEO)
Passing: Leak: 150-242-1773-36-11-102.51 | Archer: 229-382-2446-49-12-97.70
Rushing: Roper: 20-118-5.9-3 | Benson: 59-130-2.2-6
Receiving: Toliver: 78-985-12.6-21 | Shipp: 118-1379-11.7-28
Offense: 266.4 | 252.4
Turnover Margin: -13 | +8
Defense: 290.7 | 281.3
Sacks: Carter: 5.5 | Cooke: 4.5
INTs: Coleman: 6 | Belton: 10
Kicking: Lewis: 93 (66/73 PAT; 9/16 FG) | Martinez: 116 (77/88 PAT; 13/22 FG)
PREDATORS: Last week the Predators lost to the VooDoo at home, 41-48. Orlando (2-12) last played Georgia (7-8) on 4/20/12 at home and won 27-24, making it their first win of the season…the Predators are in fifth place in the South Division behind Tampa Bay (6-8), Georgia (7-8), New Orleans (7-7) and Jacksonville (7-7)…Orlando ranks third in the League in rushing offense with 26.6 yards per game and eighth in total defense with 287.1 yards per game…The Predators rank seventh in the League in scoring defense with 51.8 points per game, in pass defense holding opponents to 263.4 yards per game and in kickoff returns with an average of 17.8…Orlando is averaging a League-high 25 yards per fumble return in 2012…QB CHRIS LEAK is 150-for-242 passing with 1,773 yards and 36 TDs…WR T.T. TOLIVER leads the team in receptions with 78 catches for 985 yards…He also leads the team in scoring with 126 total points on the season…Toliver has a touchdown reception in nine consecutive games played…he is 81 receiving yards shy of becoming the 12th player in AFL history to record 10,000 receiving yards in a career…With two touchdown grabs in Week 16, Toliver tied George LaFrance for 12th place all-time on the AFL’s list of career touchdown receptions leaders…His 195 career touchdown grab puts him one behind Greg Hopkins…Toliver is five touchdown receptions shy of becoming just the 10th player in AFL history with 200 career touchdown receptions…WR JARVIS WILLIAMS has caught multiple touchdowns in four consecutive games…DB KENNY McENTYRE has led the team in tackles in each of the last two games…He returned to the team three weeks ago after unofficially retiring following the 2011 season…McEntyre recorded his AFL-record 97th career interception in Week 16…K MARK LEWIS is 66- for-73 on PATs and is 9-for-16 on FGs…Lewis is one field goal shy of moving into ninth place all-time on the AFL’s list of career field goals leaders…He has made 91 field goals in his career.
FORCE: In Week 16, Georgia lost to Utah 38-61. The Force (7-8) is in third place in the South Division behind New Orleans and Jacksonville…The team ranks fourth in the League in scoring defense with 50.9 points per game and in pass defense, holding opponents to 256.9 yards per game…Georgia ranks fifth in the League in rushing offense with 21.3 yards per game and sixth in total defense with 281.3 yards per game…The Force rank first in the League in kickoff returns with 20.4 yards per game…QB R.J. ARCHER was signed by the Detroit Lions just last Thursday…QB BRYANT MONIZ was bumped up last week to fill the void…In his first start he was 27-for-47 passing for 243 yards and 3 TDs…WR LARRY SHIPP leads the team in receptions with 118 catches for 1,379 yards… he has recorded a touchdown reception in every game played this season…Shipp leads the team in scoring with 200 total points on the season…he ranks fifth in the League in receptions with 14 and averages 8.43 per game…The last time Georgia played Orlando, Shipp led the team in receiving with 15 catches for 150 yards and one touchdown…DB AHMAD HAWKINS is two tackles shy of moving into 11th place all-time on the AFL’s list of career tackles leaders…He has 460 career tackles…DB ROBERT DURHAM recorded a Force season-high nine tackles in Week 16…He currently has 15 tackles on the season…K CARLOS MARTINEZ has tallied 116 points kicking and is 77-for-88 on PATs and is 13-for-22 on FGs…He spent the 2010 season with the Predators…Martinez leads the League with 13 field goals this season…He trails Mike Black by nine extra point conversions on the AFL’s list of career PAT leaders…Martinez has 710 career extra point conversions.