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Firecats News

2007-04-05

A Look Across The Field – The Texas Copperheads.

After a 132-3 domination that the Katy Copperheads put on the West Palm Beach Waves during the 2006 National Indoor Football League season, head coach Bryan Blake decided after only one year in the NIFL that the copperheads needed a more competitive and stable league with national ties. Posting a 12-4 overall record including playoffs last year in the NIFL, Blake met with owner of the Austin Wranglers Doug McGregor, and the Texas Copperheads of the AF2 were born.

The AF2 is fielding 30 teams for the 2007 season, including 9 expansion teams; the Copperheads being one of them. Only Texas, Laredo and Tri-Cities have made the move to the AF2 from other indoor leagues.

With Texas playing former division 1A players such as Jason Deml, Robby Walker, John Whitehead and Mike Henry, head coach Bryan Blake wanted to find a true professional league that would allow his players to move up the ladder and play at a higher level. One player from the 2007 Copperheads roster that has been around a higher level of player all of his life is linebacker Lawrence Taylor Jr. who is a son of former NFL great… You guessed it, Lawrence Taylor.

The Copperheads took the AF2 field for the first time in a non televised scrimmage against another fellow expansion team Corpus Christi Sharks. Texas came out on top that night with an 84-42 victory that didn’t mean anything for their record, but showed both strengths and weaknesses of both teams. One obvious strength for the Copperheads was the impressive play of the defense. The Copperhead D came out on fire with 2 early interceptions, and strong tackles into the boards. The defense didn’t let down, they played the scrimmage as if it was a real game.

Copperheads QB Tony Eckert came out in the first series sizzling as he went 3 for 6 for 39 yards and completing the first touchdown of the game with a 20 yard TD pass to Roland Hayes in the first drive. Eckert then went 8 for 10 in the next series for 75 yards before a 5 yard TD run by tailback Patrick Norton. 2 more TD’s were thrown to John Whitehead and Jason Deml before the scrimmage came to a close.

With the scrimmage win giving the Copperheads much needed confidence; they think they are prepared to take on the high powered offense of the #1 rated Florida Firecats.

When Firecats coach Kevin Bouis was asked how his team was preparing for the upcoming game against the Texas Copperheads with no film on the team, put simply he stated, “It’s going to be hard, but were prepared and were just going to play our game”. One guy for sure coach Bouis wants to keep an eye on is linebacker Lawrence Taylor Jr.

The stage is set for the #1 rated Florida Firecats against the much ballyhooed defense of the af2 Texas Copperheads who have much to prove to the league to show they belong in the deuce.