The Times from Shreveport, Louisiana on July 9, 2004 · Page 26
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The Times from Shreveport, Louisiana · Page 26

Shreveport, Louisiana
Issue Date:
Friday, July 9, 2004
Page 26
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... . -. Football 6C FRIDAY, JULY 9, 2004 THE TIMES Delhomme has busy offseason Carolina quarterback up for an ESPY award. By Dan McDonald Louisiana Sports Bureau LAFAYETTE Jake Delhomme fielded questions earlier this week from ESPN's Dan Patrick on a national .satellite hookup withj the coolness of a veteran. ' ; : " ' He should. After all, he has nearly a decade of life experience on the other four nominees for this year's ESPY Award the sports world's version of the Oscar for Best Breakthrough. But it's still heady company, with his Wednesday interview live from UL Lafayette's Cypress Lake, part of an interview series Patrick is doing with Delhomme, Indianapolis' Peyton Manning and Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb. T v ' -" 'Tm not into rankings," Delhomme told Patrick on the hookup. Tm all about wins and losses. As long as the team wins, that's the only statistic I care about." Uelnomme, in his first season as quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, led that squad to February's Super Bowl and nearly pulled out a win in the season's biggest game. He Delhomme completed 10of-14 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone. But those numbers were little consolation for Breaux Bridge's most famous export, since the New England Patriots took a last-minute 32-29 victory. "You beat yourself up looking back at all the little things you could have done," he said. "If I complete that 2-point conversion pass, if we get another score here or there, maybe tilings would have been different." Most NFL players would be content with a season that included division and conference titles, an ESPY nomination and a $38 million contract extension, but Delhomme would trade those honors in a heartbeat for four more points in the nation's most-watched sporting event. "We're the team nobody talks about - x jj lnsisSe the Battle Wings AP V i 4tl U3k Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme, a former UL Lafayette star, is up for an ESPY award for Best Breakthrough athlete. "You beat yourself up looking back at all the little things you could have done. If I complete that 2-point conversion pass, if we get another score here or there, maybe things would have been different." ... Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme, on his team's'32-29 loss to New England in the Super Bowl By Jimmy Watson The Peoria Pirates, who invade the CenturyTel Center tonight at 7 for a meeting with the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings could make it a long night for the Bossier-Shreveport offense. The Pirates are giving up a meager average of 37.2 points per game, the best mark in the af2, while the Battle; Wings are averaging 52.3 points each game. That defensive effort has allowed Peoria to win three consecutive games and to improve to &6 on die season. Having a great defense has been key to competing for the ArenaCup championship over the past four years. When the Pirates won the Cup in 2002, they gave up just 37.3 points per game, When Quad City won the title in 2000 and 2001, theSteamwheel-ers gave' up 2916 and 28.3 points pel-game respectively. . . .'.- With four weeks to go in the 2004 regular season, not a single team has clinched a playoff berth, and 22 teams are still mathematically alive for a postseason spot This is the latest an af2 season has gone without at least one team clinching a playoff berth. As the league enters Week 15, B af2 standings, schedule. only three teams could potentially clinch playoff berths with victories. Cape Fear, Birmingham and Wilkes-BarreScranton each need to win and have Columbus lose in order to lock up a spot If Columbus beats Louisville on Saturday night, no one will clinch a playoff berth until the following , week. , ; ' ."''V. ' Battle Wings quarterback Shefr ard Poteete is second 'on the af2's single-season rushing lists, but he could drop lower if Florida Firecats fullback Steve Gorrie continues his torrid pace. Poteete rushed for 405 yards in 2002 and trails only Darnell Arce-neaux's 439 yards for Hawaii during Hie same season. Gorrie now has 384 I-yards on the season. Only one other 4 player (Memphis' Quentin Cradle, 402 yards) has eclipsed the 400-yard rushing barrier in a season. ' ! '" 1 B Quote of the week on the af2, Website: "It's hard for a head coach to take advice sometimes," Peoria coach Bruce Cowdrey said. "In the end, it's the head coach's job that's on die line. But Chuck Goodwin and our coaching staff have done a terrific job helping turn this team around. I'm getting sound advice, and they make good decisions." B Bossier-Shreveport's Bo Smith is currently tied for second place with Memphis' Kevin Prentiss in the af2 scoring race with 198 points. Both receivers trail Cape Fear's Matt Burstein, who has 216 points. Both Prentiss and Burstein have four games remaining,; while Smith has just three more games' to add to his total. : , ' ' . B Seven of the Battle Wings' 13 games have come against teams currently ranked in the a2's weekly coaches' poll. Player profile WHO: Dennis Skains VITALS: 5-10, 182 POSITION: WRDB COLLEGE: Mississippi College PERSONAL: Attended Teurlings High School In Lafayette and lists LSU as his favorite college football ' team. NOTABLE: In third season of af2 football, but his first with Battle Wings. Played for the Mobile Wizards in 2002 and the Columbus Wardogs in 2003. a lot in our division," Delhomme said in the interview featured in Wednesday's SportsCenter broadcasts, "but I think we have a pretty good nucleus for the next few years, and I'd like to be leading that team back to the Super Bowl." Delhomme's interview was part of a whirlwind offseason that has kept the former Teurlings Catholic and Ragin' Cajun standout busier than he imagined. Along with the media crush that goes with being a Super Bowl quarterback, Delhomme signed the lucrative long-term deal with the Panthers, and he's up for an ESPY next Wednesday. The 29-year-old Delhomme is nom inated in the Best Breakthrough category along with 15-year-old soccer sensation Freddy Adu, 14-year-old LPGA golf neophyte Michelle Wie and NBA rookies LeBron James, 19, and Carmelo Anthony, 20. Those other four didn't spend any key years as a backup for the New Orleans Saints before becoming an overnight sensation in the last 10 months, but Delhomme is anything but bitter. "I was very lucky to play all that time there," he said. "They gave me a shot. They're a class organization, and I have a lot of friends there. I left on good terms, but that's the NFL, and I still have a lot of life to live." Quitting Business SALE ! ! 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