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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 24, 2002

Islanders see improvement despite 6-game losing streak

By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer

Before the start of their inaugural season in arenafootball2, the Hawaiian Islanders passed out promotional material containing the slogan "Light the Fire!"

Game facts

• What: arenafootball2

• Who: Hawaiian Islanders

(1-6) vs. Fresno Frenzy (2-5)

• Where: Selland Arena in Fresno, Calif.

• When: tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. HST

• Radio: delayed on 1420 AM following UH baseball, which starts at 3:45 p.m.

After a season-opening 50-47 win over the Fresno Frenzy on March 30, a flame appeared to be ignited, but since then it has been flickering.

The Islanders (1-6), who have dropped six in a row, will look to get back in the win column against the Frenzy tomorrow night at Selland Arena in Fresno, Calif. Fresno (2-5) has won two straight after dropping its first five.

"They're definitely improving," Islanders coach Chad Carlson said. "We've been watching some film and their receivers are coming together with their quarterback. It looks like they're coming together."

The Islanders have been outscored 347-238 during their losing skid, but remain upbeat.

"You can't be negative in this situation, this is a positive situation," Carlson said. "We have a football team in Hawai'i. They're giving it all they have and they're going to win."

Said offensive specialist Darrell Jones: "We're still hanging in there. We just keep coming out on the short end of the stick. Nobody's got their head down."

In the victory over Fresno, the Islanders' Darnell Arceneaux had his best game of the season, completing 19-of-36 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for three scores.

"With the only win on the year against this team, we're not going to come in thinking they're going to lay down," Arceneaux said.

"If anything it's to their advantage. They're thinking we lost to these guys, they're on a losing streak, we can come in right now and bop them in the mouth. So we need to just play our game."

Since the Fresno game, Arceneaux has completed 82 of 188 passes (43.6 percent) with an average of 181.7 yards per game.

Islanders' opponents over the same span have completed 133 of 199 passes (66.8 percent) with an average of 256.5 yards per game.

Arceneaux will face a Frenzy defense that ranks last in the 34-team af2 in total defense (310.1 yards per game) and pass defense (272.3 yards per game).

His favorite target is Jones, who has caught 42 passes for 471 yards and five touchdowns.

According to Arceneaux, he and his receivers are beginning to find a rhythm.

"The morale of the receivers is they're becoming more confident. These guys aren't really true receivers, they're ironman football players who go both ways playing DB (defensive back) and receiver. So we've made that adjustment and we're starting to make our steps."

The Islanders' defense is ranked 28th in total defense (262.1 yards per game) and 31st in pass defense (239.1 yards per game).

Fresno's biggest weapon is offensive specialist Lamont Webb, who is third in the league in scoring with 104 points and second in all-purpose yards with 205.6 per game.



Western Division

Overall GB PF PA Conf.

Bakersfield 4-2 — 274 247 3-0

San Diego 3-4 1 1/2 354 356 2-2

Fresno 2-5 2 1/2 316 389 1-3

Hawai'i 1-6 3 1/2 288 394 1-2

Tomorrow's games

Bakersfield at San Diego

Hawai'i at Fresno