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Memphis Blast To Host BBQ Bowl Tripleheader

This year, Blast Entertainment president and team owner Charles Thompson will host a day-long affair with three games scheduled, each offering a championship trophy to the winners as well as individual player honors, including Most Valuable Player honors.

New York, March 5, 2003 -- The Memphis (TN) Blast of the North American Football League have announced the field of teams that will participate in the second annual BBQ Bowl to be tentatively held at Millington High School in Millington, TN May 17.

The inaugural event was a single game, held at E.H. Crump Stadium, in which the Blast defeated a fellow NAFL opponent, the Dallas Diesel, 26-7, behind a 315-yard, four touchdown passing performance by quarterback Cedric Granger.

This year, Blast Entertainment president and team owner Charles Thompson will host a day-long affair with three games scheduled, each offering a championship trophy to the winners as well as individual player honors, including Most Valuable Player honors.

In the opening game at noon (Central time), the Texas Stampede will meet the Central Illinois Cougars.

The Stampede were a 2001 NAFL playoff team, but are now playing an independent schedule and are under new management.

The Cougars of the original Midwest Football League finished 6-3 last season and made the playoffs. They enter the upcoming season ranked third in the MFL's preseason poll. A member of the MFL since 1999, Central Illinois went from not having a home field in their inaugural season and finishing 1-8 to winning the MFL Southern Conference title in 2000 with an 8-1 record as well as being ranked 29th out of 167 Class AA minor league football teams. Many players were invited to pro football combines after the 2000 season, highlighted by two-year all-pro quarterback Corey Duffling being signed by a European professional team.

In the second game at 3:30 p.m. (Central time), two NAFL teams will face off as the St. Louis Bulldogs play the Nashville Storm.

The Bulldogs will begin their 11th season as a team and their fourth as a member of the NAFL. Since 1993, they have amassed an impressive record of 102-35. They made the 2002 NAFL playoffs and figure to be in the hunt for the 2003 league crown.

The Storm had an outstanding inaugural season in the NAFL, finishing 8-2 and winning the Tennessee Valley Division. The Storm, along with the host Blast, are considering some of the top teams in the Southeast.

The final game at 7:00 p.m. (Central time) will be a rematch between the Blast and the Diesel.

The Blast enter their third season as an NAFL member and look to make a run for the Southeast Conference Championship Trophy in 2003.

The Diesel have rattled off three straight winning seasons out of their five in existence and have made three straight appearances in the Southwest Conference championship game, following going 6-5 and losing in the Western Conference championship in 1999.

The Memphis Blast dance team will also host a cheerleader and dance team competition May 16 and 17, among other activities being planned for the weekend.

For more information about BBQ Bowl II, please call Blast Entertainment at (901) 690-3743 or send an email to blast669@hotmail.com. Visit Memphis Blast websites here.

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