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Defense Lights Fire To 49-42 Win Over Venom

May 3, 2014 - Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) - Georgia Fire News Release

ROME, GA (May 3, 2014) - In a tightly contested American Conference clash, the Georgia Fire (2-2) of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) ended their two-game losing streak on Saturday thanks to three key turnovers in their 49-42 victory over the first-place Nashville Venom (3-1).

From the outset, the Georgia Fire defense played like a different unit on Saturday getting a turnover on downs the game's opening drive. Georgia capitalized scoring on the ensuing drive on a Chris Mitchell four-yard quarterback keeper.

With their starting quarterback Alex Carder now in the AFL, George Murray was pegged as Saturday's starter for Nashville, but would not finish that way. Before the end of the 1st quarter Murray matched Mitchell's QB keeper TD with one of his own knotting the game up at 7.

The sluggish 1st quarter was quickly erased when the Georgia special teams ignited blocking a Garrett Morgan field goal attempt in the end-zone forcing a safety. Despite the success of the defense, the Fire offense was finding their counterparts just as tough failing to exploit the safety with no points on the ensuing drive. QB Cecil Lester's struggles from a week ago carried over into Saturday completing 23 of 43 passes for just 169 yards and three touchdowns while also having two interceptions.

However, the Georgia offense managed to take advantage of a key fumble recovery late in the 2nd quarter. FB Xavier Stinson scampered his way into the end-zone for his first of two rushing scores giving his club a 24-13 lead. Nashville cut the deficit to four when Murray hooked up with Mack Ogletree on a 23-yard TD pass, their only hook-up of the night. Ryan Gates sent the contest into the break when he converted a 15-yard field goal as time expired giving Georgia a 27-20 lead.

"Felt confident with how our guys we're playing into the break," says Georgia Fire Head Coach Cosmo DeMatteo. "We we're going up against the number one team in the league and we we're the ones dictating the style of the game."

The defensive slugfest continued into the 2nd half with the two clubs at one point combining to go scoreless on four consecutive drives. Georgia maintained a 34-27 lead for the majority and not until Nashville Venom Head Coach Billy Back inserted the newly signed Lee Chapple at QB did the Venom find the end-zone again.

Chapple connected with WR Phillip Barnett 6-yard TD pass, Barnett's third of the night, to tying the contest up at 34.

Georgia answered back with a 9-yard TD pass from John Harris, but it would be a costly thrown interception by Chapple to DB Demetrie McCray that proved to be the final difference. Fire offense converted the turnover into points on a Xavier Stinson two-yard score to take a commanding 49-34 lead.

Barnett would score one more time for the Venom, but proved to be too little too late with the Fire taking home the 49-42 victory. Nashville and Georgia won't have much time to wait for the rematch with the next meeting taking place next Saturday May 11th in the Nashville Municipal Auditorium.

To catch all of next Saturday's action log on to and click on the 99.5 The Jock Listen Live icon. Coverage begins at 8:00 PM ET.

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