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2009-07-18

Firecats Look For A Win Against The Vipers

TENNESEE VALLEY VIPERS (10-4) AT FLORIDA FIRECATS (6-8)

SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2009 – Germain Arena (7,128) 7:30 P.M. ET

The Florida Firecats host the Tennessee Valley Vipers this week in their third head-to-head meeting of the season. The Vipers are 2-0 against the Firecats in 2009 and own a 9-7 advantage in the all-time series.

In last week’s game, Tennessee Valley was unable to continue its four-game winning streak, suffering a two-point loss at Kentucky, 42-40. The Vipers started and ended the game strong with a combined 33 points in the first and fourth quarters, however, they lacked the strength and drive in the second and third quarters, scoring a total of seven points. Tennessee Valley is currently ranked No. 6 in the latest league coaches poll.

QB KEVIN EAKIN, who ranks No. 8 individually in total offensive yards, completed 68% of his passes (24-of-37) and was responsible for four of the team’s six touchdowns. WR/DB TRAVIS BLANCHARD kept his team in the game with five kickoff returns for 116 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

The Vipers defense, which ranks as the league’s No. 1 scoring defense, had a solid game, led by ­­DB DESMOND FOSTER, with eight solo tackles. The team also snatched one interception and sacked the Kentucky quarterbacks twice.

Florida also suffered a loss last week. The Firecats dropped the second of back-to-back games against the South Georgia Wildcats, 52-35. Florida was only able to score single digits in the first and second quarters, trailing by 11 going into the second half.

QB JUSTIN MIDGETT, in his first start of the season, had a hard time facing the defensive pressure, completing just over 50% of his passes (22-of-42) and only three touchdowns. He also threw one interception and was sacked three times, which prevented the Firecats from scoring throughout the game. Veteran WR MAGIC BENTON caught 10 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns. WR CHRIS MCKINNEY leads the club in receiving with 107 catches for 1,171 yards and 29 TDs.

LB LARRY EDWARDS led the defense with four solo tackles, one interception and a safety in the first quarter. The Firecats will need a strong effort from their defense and an efficient outing from Midgett if they want to keep things close against the Vipers. Florida needs a win to remain in playiff contention while Tennessee Valley is looking to maintain their #2 seed in the American Conference.