It Will Be a "Banner Night" for Vipers

Chris YowAnalyst IApril 1, 2009

Tennessee Valley will open up the home schedule of the 2009 af2 season on Saturday night. The visitors will be from the Quad Cities, based in Moline, IL. I don't think the Steamwheelers will be driving John Deere tractors down, however. In case you didn't know, Moline, IL is the home of John Deere tractors.

The Steamwheelers and Vipers have quite the history, Quad City finished off their perfect season in 2000 with a win over the Vipers in Arena Cup I. So how fitting is it that when the Vipers unveil the 2008 Arena Cup Champions banner, that the Steamwheelers be in the building?

Quad City brings with them a plethora of veterans, including quarterback J.J. Raterink. Raterink was spectacular in week one of the af2 season, throwing for 333 yards and eight touchdowns. Largely in part to wide out Jesse Schmidt who caught seven of those touchdown passes.

Ironman Jack Walker Jr. is back with the Wheelers after one season in Iowa. Walker, who won the 2007 Ironman of the Year award, will be tough to throw over from the jack linebacker position.

Vipers quarterback Kevin Eakin is looking forward to this week in hopes of redeeming himself after last week's dismal performance.

Quad City gave up 56 points to Peoria last week and allowed rookie quarterback Luke Drone to throw for 299 yards and eight touchdowns himself.

The Vipers will have their work cut out against this potent offense, but the defense that came up with four stops last week will be tested and ready to go.

Key players

Quad City - QB JJ Raterink, WR Jesse Schmidt, FB Terrance Freeney
Tennessee Valley - QB Kevin Eakin, WR Michael Johnson, DE Eric Scott

Pit Prediction
Quad City - 55
Tennessee Valley 57