Pittsburgh drops the Force

Sonny Kennedy

The Georgia Force knew if they won their final home game Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Power, they would come very close to clinching a playoff spot and perhaps a division title. But thanks to an opportunistic Power defense and an unstoppable Power offense, the Force lost 58-41 and their playoff hopes are now hanging on by a thread.

The troubles began for the Force in the first half. Georgia scored just 13 points and gained a paltry 58 yards in the first half. They also turned the ball over twice thanks to two first-quarter interceptions by quarterback Bryant Moniz.

The defense did not fare much better for the Force, as the unit allowed 31 points and 106 yards. Power quarterback Andrico Hines threw three of his six touchdown passes in the first half. He would go on to finish with 266 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions.

The Force offense played better in the second half, scoring 28 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter. Moniz threw three of his four touchdown passes in the fourth and C.J. Johnson scored the Force’s final points via a 55-yard kickoff return.

But the Force defense could not stop Pittsburgh’s offense as the Power scored 27 points including three touchdowns passes by Hines and a rushing touchdown by P.J. Berry. Berry had two rushing touchdown and two receiving touchdowns in the win.

So here’s how the playoff scenario looks for the Force: Georgia stands at 8-9 and are one-half of one game behind the Jacksonville Sharks in the American Conference South division. If the Force win against the New Orleans Voodoo next week and Jacksonville loses to the Pittsburgh Power, the Force clinch the division title. If the Force lose next week and Tampa Bay loses to the Spokane Shock next week, the Force clinch a playoff spot.

But if the Force loses and Tampa Bay wins, the Force will be eliminated from the postseason.

The good news is that the Force control their own destiny when it comes to reaching the playoffs. Only one win is needed in order to qualify for the second season for the second consecutive year. Kickoff for next week’s game against the Voodoo will be 8:00 p.m. Saturday at the New Orleans Arena.

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