Arkansas Twisters

Years of Existence: 2000-2009
Venue: Alltel Arena (North Little Rock, AR)
2000 -
2001 -
2002 Playoff appearance
2003 Championship game appearance
2006 - Semifinal appearance
2007 - Playoff appearance
2008 - Playoff appearance
2009 - Playoff appearance
Lifetime Record: 90-80
Home: 48-35
Away: 42-45
Playoffs: 4-6
Average Attendance: 7,344

The Arkansas Twisters are one of the original AF2 franchises. The team began in 2000 with a 7-9 record. Things did not improve in 2001, as the Twisters finished the year at 6-10. The team would have their best record to date in 2002 at 11-5, but were ousted in the first round of the playoffs. The Twisters were quite a surprise team in 2003, finishing the regular season at 9-7, but making it all the way to the Championship game where they would lose to Tulsa 63-52. There was a return to sub-par play in 2005, as the Twisters finished 5-11. Coming into the 2006 season, the Twisters had never had a crowd lower than 5,900. However, six games would have attendance figures well below this mark, but it was no indication of the product on the field. The Twisters seemed to come from nowhere to win ten regular season games. While many of the wins came against sub .500 teams, the Twisters destroyed the Tulsa Talons at home, 61-40. Come playoff time, Arkansas was the fifth seed and played both Oklahoma teams on the road. A 47-43 victory over the Yard Dawgz and a 53-51 victory in Tulsa put the Twisters in a spot to win their first semifinal match since 2003. However, the miraculous playoff run came up short in Spokane, with a 48-30 loss. The Twisters came back strong again in 2007, winning five of their first six. The team dropped a franchise record 93 points on the expansion Corpus Christi Sharks. The Twisters also won two overtime games against Tulsa and Amarillo. Brian Villanueva quarterbacked the Twisters into the postseason. After splitting the regular season series against Bossier-Shreveport, it was the Battlewings that romped the Twisters in Arkansas with a 42-23 second half and 62-40 victory. In 2008, the Twisters were led by former ArenaCup champion quarterback Kyle Rowley. The team was 3-4 after seven games, but finished at 11-5 and earned a home playoff berth. Chris Denney, Jamal Perry, and Jon Schoonover led the team in receiving. In the playoff game against Central Valley, Kyle Rowley was intercepted three times and the Coyotes got a surprise 68-55 victory. The 2009 Twisters were led by Kyle Rowley, who threw for 102 scores. Aaron Fairooz, in just five games played, caught 22 scores, while Rod Harper was the season-long leader, catching 38 scores and accumulating 1,375 yards. An 11-5 record was good for the fifth seed in the National Conference, and the Twisters would take a 27 hour bus ride to Boise to face the Burn. Many thought the game would be a close battle. For a quarter, it was, as Arkansas led 12-7 to start the period. However, Arkansas would proceed to turn the ball over seven times and Boise scored the next five touchdowns to build a 35-12 lead. The Twisters were blown out of Boise by a final score of 77-36. Following the 2009 season, the Twisters joined the AF1.