June 8, 2006 - Rockford, IL -After finishing up a two-game road trip to Lexington and Omaha, Rock River returns to the “Rock Pile” on June 17th for “Raptor Trading Card Night” against the Fort Wayne Freedom. Kick-off will be at 7:35 p.m.
The first 1,500 fans ages 14 and under will receiver a set of Raptors Trading Cards. The event is sponsored by WTVO Channel 17 and by Ink Enterprises.
This coming Saturday, the Raptors take a 4-1 road record into the ‘Slaughter House” on Saturday night in Omaha for a game against the Beef. Kick-off will be at 7:30 p.m.
The Raptors will have revenge on their minds as it was Omaha who dealt Rock River their last loss, 41-30 at the “Rock Pile” on April 29th. Since that loss, Rock River has reeled off four straight wins, including two against previously unbeaten Lexington. The Raptors also own wins over Fort Wayne and Bloomington during that streak.
The Beef is a team that is fighting for their play-off lives as they are a game behind Ohio Valley, Sioux City and Bloomington for the last three play-off spots. The Greyhounds, Bandits and Extreme are 5-5 on the season while Omaha is 4-6.
Omaha is coming off a heart-breaking 40-38 loss to Sioux Falls. The Beef rallied from a 31-19 deficit but fell two points short.
Rock River traveled to Rupp Arena in Lexington and jumped out to a 14-0 lead and led the entire game en-route to a 55-46 win over the Horsemen.
The game between the Raptors and the Beef will feature two of the best running backs in the UIF.
The Beef feature R.J. Rollins, who currently leads the UIF in rushing with 482 yards on 132 carries. Rollins leads the league in touchdowns with 18.
The Raptors counter with former Carson-Newman standout Randy Bell. Bell is third in the league in rushing with 356 yards on 122 carries. Bell is tied with Lexington’s Chad Spencer for third in the league with 17 touchdowns.
Also leading the Raptors offense is two-time UIF Offensive Player of the Week quarterback Ben Sankey, who leads all UIF quarterbacks in passing efficiency with a 117.4 rating.
Sankey is also third in the league in both total offense and passing average per game. It should also be noted that Sankey has thrown just two interceptions out of 262 pass attempts. His 33 touchdown passes also ranks him third in the league.
Reigning UIF Rookie of the Year Luke McArdle currently leads all UIF receivers in receptions per game. Another one of Sankey’s strengths this season has been the ability to spread to ball out to different receivers. McArdle leads the team with 47 catches for 530 yards. Former University of Illinois wide receiver Ade Adeyemo has 40 catches for 401 yards. Jeremiah Thompson has 30 catches for 255 yards while former University of Michigan standout Tyrece Butler has caught 26 passes for 298 yards.
Sankey, has completed 60 percent of his passes and has thrown for 1,493 yards.
The Raptors have also gotten stellar play from their defense this season as defensive end Fernandez Shaw tops the UIF with eight sacks. Former Virginia Tech standout Mike Davis leads the team in tackles with 43.5 and Billy Cook paces the team in interceptions with five.
Sankey has not been the only Raptors’ player to be recognized by the league with the Player of the Week awards. Shaw and back-up quarterback Ryan Aulenbacher have also picked up the weekly award. Rock River kicker Dillon Pieffer joins Sankey in winning the Player of the Week award twice.
- Don’t forget that before Rock River’s next home game on June 17th that RAPTOR PARK will open at 5:30 p.m. and will remain open until game time. Great food such as Burgers, Brats, Hot Dogs and Chips will be available for purchase along with beer, soda and water. Music for Raptor Park will be provided by the group Morning After, a rock band that plays a mix of original and cover songs. For more information on the band, visit www.morningaftermusic.com
- Fans can listen to Saturday’s Raptors-Beef game on the Rock River Raptors Radio Network. Coverage begins with Andy Gannon’s pre-game at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN 1380-The Jock and on 93.7 FM the “Big Easy”. The game is also available on the internet. Log on to www.espn1380.com, www.wekz.com, and on www.raptorsuif.com.
- When the Bloomington Extreme come to the “Rock Pile” on June 24th for there third meeting with the Raptors, it will be “Free Hot Dog Night” as the Raptors will be giving away 10,000 free hot dogs while they last.
- The Raptors wrap up the regular season on July 8th with a date against the Ohio Valley Greyhounds. That game will feature Youth Hat Night where the first 1,500 youths ages 17 and under with receive a free Raptors hat courtesy of Pepsi and Fox 39 TV.
Half-time of all three games will feature exhibition games from the Rockford NFL Flag Football program.
- Individual tickets are on sale now by calling the MetroCentre box office at (815)968-5222 or by logging on to www.centreevents.com.
Group tickets are also on sale by contacting Director of Ticket Sales Laura Houston in the Raptors office at (815)965-7000.
UNITED INDOOR FOOTBALL PO Box 3744 Omaha, NE 68103-0744 Phone: 888-433-4UIF; Fax: 888-433-4842