Burn Baby Burn, Fire Return Home To Host Raiders
ROME, GA (May 29, 2014) - It's been close to a month, but the Georgia Fire (3-4) of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) finally return home for the start of a three-game home stand beginning this Sunday in a matinee clash at 1:00 pm with the Richmond Raiders (2-5).
Following back-to-back wins over division leader Nashville, the Fire have dwindled over the past couple of weeks including losses to both Harrisburg and division rival Alabama. Last week's 39-21 conference road loss to the Hammers was even more crucial as it set-up a three-way tie between Georgia, Alabama, and Columbus with the Fire as the odd man out due to tie-breaker scenarios.
With one out of conference loss already on their belt, a 72-64 loss to Harrisburg two weeks ago and future meetings set with Lehigh Valley (4-3) and Trenton (6-2) Georgia will have to earn a playoff berth by defeating their neighbor's from the PIFL's northern half (National Conference).
After defeating the Stampede 55-33 last week, Richmond enters Sunday's clash looking to set a string of back-to-back wins for the first time all season. For his efforts, Raiders QB Phil Konopka earned the Week 9 PIFL Offensive Player of the Week nod completing 21 of 30 passes for 215 yards as well as a total of five touchdowns in the win. It was also Konopka's first win as a starter in four tries, who prior to starting for Richmond was acquired a month ago via a trade with Lehigh Valley.
It has been a difficult first half as Richmond entered the season having reached consecutive championship games only to fall on each of the season's final day. Thanks to some off-season departures of notable players as well as an unstable situation behind center to start the season, the Raiders hopes of returning to the PIFL Championship game let alone playoffs are on life support.
As well as trying to set a string of back-to-back wins, Richmond will also have to reverse the curse that has been The Peach State, in seven career trips to the state of Georgia the Raiders are a combined 0-7.
For Georgia, if they have any aspiration of reaching the playoffs now is the time for the inferno to burn the brightest. Starting with Sunday's matinee, the Fire host three consecutive games and close out the regular season with four of their final five overall at the Rome Forum Civic Center.
The offense, which last week went cold recording a season low 21 points on 168 yards passing, will have to return to the form they had a couple of weeks ago when QB Cecil Lester set the PIFL all-time single-game high of 386 passing yards against Harrisburg. WR John Harris continues to be a bright spot for the offense, current team leader in receptions with 45 and has recorded a touchdown in five straight contests.
Even though their record does not indicate, the Richmond has a middle of the pack type defense that causes a lot of havoc in the back-field. But like the Fire, they have difficulty creating turnovers as Georgia (-8) and Richmond (-9) rank at the bottom respectively in turnover margin.
For great ticket options to Sunday's matinee meeting against Richmond, call the Rome Forum Civic Center Box Office at 706-291-5281 and for all available ticket options for the remaining four home games log on to www.georgiafire.us.
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Professional Indoor Football League Stories from May 29, 2014
- Burn Baby Burn, Fire Return Home To Host Raiders - Georgia Fire
- Raiders to Battle Fire Sunday - Richmond Raiders
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