Top-ranked team visits Huntsville on Saturday
From Staff Reports
HUNTSVILLE — The Tennessee Valley Vipers already have knocked off one top-10 team during the 2007 arenafootball2 season, and they'll look to do the same thing Saturday night.
The Vipers entertain unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the Von Braun Center. Kickoff is at 7:30.
"It's a headline game for us," Vipers defensive line and linebackers coach Dominic Bramante said. "If we win — and no one expects us to — we'll be all over the place. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton just doesn't want to beat us — they want to score 50 points on us.
"Our team is ready. Our guys have played under pressure this season and we've had some great reps. It's almost been like playoff football."
The Vipers (4-2) posted a 39-38 road victory at then-No. 4 Florida on April 28 and are coming off a 51-21 victory last weekend at Cincinnati.
Tennessee Valley has won three straight games heading into Saturday's game against the Pioneers (6-0) and the first 1,500 youngsters 14-and-under will receive a Vipers Kids Cap.
In addition, the first 2,000 fans will receive Pic-A-Frame Vipers trading card set No. 3 that features defensive end Farouk Adelekan, defensive back Carlos Campbell, defensive back Gary Elliott and wide receiver Lewis Howes.
The Pioneers have a perfect mark behind former Colgate quarterback Ryan Vena, who has thrown for 1,519 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's offense ranks second in the league with 61.5 points a game and its defense is second in allowing 34.7 points.
The Vipers will rely on former UNA quarterback Chris Gunn to direct an offense that's ranked 25th with 39.3 points a game.
Gunn will be making his first start of the season in the absence of Tony Colston, who dislocated his right (non-throwing) elbow early in the Cincinnati victory.
Gunn came on to throw for 196 yards and four touchdowns and the Tennessee Valley defense — which is fifth leaguewide in allowing 38.7 points a game — gave up seven second-half points.
In the Game: The sixth episode of "In the Game: The Story of the Tennessee Valley Vipers" will air Sunday at 10 p.m. on Fox 54.
The show is an inside look at the Vipers told by the coaches, players and staff and is sponsored by Infiniti Huntsville and produced by DreamMaker Entertainment.
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