Blitz guarantee win
over Islanders

As if playing for first place in the division wasn't enough to motivate the Hawaiian Islanders, the Bakersfield Blitz have added a bit more spice to today's arenafootball2 showdown.

Islanders at Bakersfield

When: Today, 4 p.m.

Where: Centennial Garden

TV: None

Radio: Live, KUMU2 1500-AM


The Blitz have guaranteed their fans a win over the visiting Islanders today at Centennial Garden. Should Bakersfield not fulfill the promise, those in attendance will receive free tickets to the team's next home game.

The team's marketing ploy didn't go unnoticed by the Islanders, who are hoping to make this an expensive Saturday for the Blitz, both in the standings and at the gate for Bakersfield's June 19 game with Central Valley.

"That's a bold, bold statement," Islanders coach Cal Lee said. "I don't put too much stock when people guarantee things. There's only two guarantees I believe in and this is not one of them."

The Islanders and Blitz are tied atop the West Division at 5-3 halfway through the regular season. For the Islanders to spoil the guarantee they'll need to pick up their first win in Bakersfield, Calif., where they are 0-2.

They must also shake off a record-breaking 91-77 loss to San Diego last Friday in the highest scoring game in af2 history.

Anthony Arceneaux set a team record and tied the af2 mark by returning three kickoffs for touchdowns. But the Islanders also surrendered the highest point total in af2 this season and the fifth most in league history.

"That kind of hurts," defensive specialist Joshua Robinson said. "We like to think of ourselves as a shut-down defense, but when you give up 91 points there's not too much shutting down going on.

"We put it behind us, we watched film, coach corrected us on our mistakes and we're just going to move on."

The Islanders aided the point explosion with five turnovers and aren't planning major changes to the game plan this week. They didn't give up many big plays last week, but allowed San Diego to steadily work their way toward the end zone with short throws.

"Our scheme is we're going to zone it up and not give up the big play and then try playing some goal-line defense," defensive coordinator Doug Semones said. "I was kind of disappointed in our goal-line defense. I felt like we didn't stop the run as well as we should have down there.

"I'm not going to change what we've been doing. It's been successful, we just have to tweak it a little bit."

Goal-line defense was the key to the Islanders' 45-40 victory over Bakersfield on April 24 in Honolulu. The Islanders stuffed the Blitz at the 1-yard line on the final play of the game to hang on for the win.


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