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Fire Breath Life, Still Need Tons Of Help

June 18, 2014 - Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) - Georgia Fire News Release

ROME, GA (June 18, 2014) - On the brink of playoff elimination, the Georgia Fire (3-7) of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) make a late season trip to the Garden State this Saturday to take on arguably the league's hottest team in the first-place Trenton Freedom (8-2).

It's a cardinal sin sports writers hate to commit, never fully count a team out until the bell has sounded or in layman's terms never count your chickens before they hatch. Thanks to Shawn Leo's last minute 30- yard field goal, Trenton's 49-47 come-from-behind victory over Alabama helped keep Georgia in the playoff hunt.

The road to the playoffs won't be easy. Already losers of five straight, the Fire will have to win out their two remaining games (this week @ Trenton and next week back at home against Columbus) and hope Alabama can win their final two games as well, which include home dates against Columbus and Harrisburg. Quite feasibly considering the Lions have lost seven straight overall on the road, including two in a row in Huntsville, and the Stampede are the only team to have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

The improbable run will have to be done without top touchdown getter WR Johnny Lester. Georgia will have to fill the 17 touchdown void as Lester suffered a knee injury in last week's overtime thriller against Lehigh Valley and is expected to miss rest of season. In his absence, the club with look to either long-time vet's Clenton Rafe or Antwontis Cutts, both have combined to see action in six games hauling in just 28 passes and four touchdowns.

Sitting pretty on top, the Freedom clinched the PIFL National Conference two weeks ago earning a home- field playoff date for the first round of the playoffs on July 5th . Last week's win over Alabama makes next week's meeting in Nashville with the Venom key as the winner of that contest will have earned home-field throughout the entirety of the 2014 playoffs, which is key considering home teams over the past two seasons have combined to go 6-0 in the playoffs.

One matchup to key an eye is the hog-mollies up front. Trenton front four has been one of the best for much of the entirety of the 2014 PIFL season. Led by Gerrard Bryant, Marcus Slocum, and one-time Fire signee William Hollis, the Freedom defensive front has combined for the second most sacks in the league (30) and have held opponents to a league-low 56 touchdowns on the season.

With team interception leader Christian Wise spending his days in the AFL and Muhammad Shamsid- Deen done for rest of season, Fire will look to exploit the depleted Freedom secondary. Despite the loss of Lester, Georgia will pack the one-two punch of John Harris and Ronald Davis at receiver. Harris, who leads the league in receptions with 75, having caught five or more receptions in every game this season and Davis is second on the team in TD receptions (14) and has found the end-zone in six straight contests.

To catch all action stay tuned to and click on the Fan Zone link to follow the radio call from Dave Leno of the Trenton Freedom. Coverage from the Sun National Bank Center will begin at 6:30 PM ET.

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