Weekly Horsemen update
04/30/03 Horsemen Press Release
THIS WEEK’S GAME:
SATURDAY, MAY 3 VS. MYRTLE BEACH, 7:30 PM, RUPP ARENA
TOP STORY – HORSEMEN BEAT TENNESSEE, FACE ‘RAYS AT HOME; McLAURIN NAMED SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The Lexington Horsemen won their third game in a row last Saturday with a 45-40 road victory over the Tennessee RiverHawks, giving them sole possession of second place in the NIFL Atlantic East division standings. Two fourth-quarter touchdowns from RB Martez Johnson helped the Horsemen (3-1, 2-0) overcome a 34-31 deficit to pull out the victory. QB Dusty Bonner compeleted 21 of 30 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns in the win, completing both TD passes to WR Carlos Johnson, who led all receivers with 8 catches for 80 yards.
The Horsemen continue to shine on special teams, as DB Ray McLaurin returned a kickoff 39 yards for a touchdown – Lexington’s fourth kick return TD in the last three game. For his efforts, McLaurin was named NIFL Atlantic Conference Player of the Week on special teams. This marks the third week in a row that one of the Horsemen has won special teams Player of the Week honors (WR Dougie Allen was the award winner for the last two weeks). Additionally, K Brian Sivinski made all six of his extra point attempts, and made his first field goal of the year, a 25-yard kick with 2:15 to go in the first half.
Defensively, the Horsemen were led by Champ Kelly, who intercepted two RiverHawks passes, both of which set up touchdowns. The defense turned in another excellent team effort, limiting the ‘Hawks to 47 passing yards and forcing Tennessee to turn the ball over on downs on their final drive.
The Horsemen continue to trail only Ohio Valley in the Atlantic East division standings, and will look to remain undefeated in division play this week as they face the Myrtle Beach Stingrays for the second time this season. Lexington defeated Myrtle Beach 44-34 in their first meeting, in a game that was highlighted by WR Dougie Allen’s two kickoff returns for touchdowns.
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT – MYRTLE BEACH STINGRAYS
The Myrtle Beach Stingrays (2-3, 2-2) come to Lexington looking to build off of their 47-39 road win over the Evansville Blue Cats last week. The Stingrays will again suit up new acquisition RB Demond Bracey, who in his first NIFL game racked up 77 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries against Evansville. Bracey, a 6’3”, 260-pound product of Howard University, has revamped a Myrtle Beach rushing offense that is currently ranked 10th in the NIFL. The Stingrays use two quarterbacks to vary their attack, with Qbs Chris Wiebel and Jerome Weaks sharing duties. The two have combined for 14 touchdown passes this season. Their favorite target thus far has been WR Lynn Rivers, who turned in a huge performance against Evansville last week, catching five balls for 122 yards and three TDs. Rivers leads Myrtle with 26 catches on the season.
Horsemen QB Dusty Bonner will be facing the stingiest coverage he has seen yet, as the Stingrays are currently ranked second in the NIFL in pass defense, allowing only 115.4 yards per game. Myrtle Beach DB Rodney Bellamy leads the team with four interceptions on the year, and is currently tied with Horsemen DB Ray McLaurin for the league lead in passes defensed, with 11. DL Deryl Lane, who has four sacks in his first five games, anchors the front unit for the Stingrays.
STINGRAYS SEASON TO DATE
3/22 at Houma L 14-29
4/1 vs. Tennessee W 45-44
4/9 vs. LEXINGTON L 34-44
4/19 at Ohio Valley L 15-41
4/26 at Evansville W 47-39
HORSEMEN STATISTICAL LEADERS
The Horsemen continue to make their presence felt in a number of league statistical categories. As a team, Lexington ranks fourth overall in point differential (+11.75 per game), trailing only Ohio Valley, Lake Charles and Utah.
Individually, there are Horsemen among the league leaders in a wide range of statistical categories. QB Dusty Bonner has become a fixture among the leading quarterbacks in the league. Bonner is currently third in the NIFL in pass rating (107.3) and passing yards (204.0 per game). He needs only 184 yards on Saturday to reach 1,000 for the season. Bonner is also ranked fourth in the league in total offense (209.0 yards per game), and is seventh in passing touchdowns (15).
WR Dougie Allen remains among the NIFL statistical leaders as well. Allen still leads the league in kickoff return average (27.0 yards per return) and return touchdowns (3). Additionally, he is currently ranked fourth in all-purpose yards per game, with 126.8.
WR Carlos Johnson’s consistent play has earned him a spot among the league leaders in receptions per game, where he is tied for third overall with RB Martez Johnson (no relation). Both Horsemen are averaging 5.50 catches per game.
Defensively, DB Ray McLaurin is tied for the league lead in passes defensed with 11, while DBs Champ Kelly and Nate Green are among the league leaders in interceptions with three apiece.
A list of statistical leaders featuring Horsemen is attached. For full Horsemen statistics, please go to: https://nationalindoorfootballleague.net/2003/stats/LE.HTM
Tickets are still available for the Horsemen’s game against the Stingrays, which will be broadcast live on WLAP 630 AM.
The Horsemen also honored Darian Edwards of Johnson Elementary this week. Edwards, 10, was on his way to school when he found a plastic bag that contained a substance that looked like cocaine. Alarmed that the bag may fall into the wrong hands, Edwards turned the bag over to school administrators. Horsemen Coach Tony Franklin and QB Dusty Bonner presented Edwards with four game tickets and an autographed hat for his good deed.