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Freedom face Venomous Challenge

June 18, 2015 - Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) - Trenton Freedom News Release

TRENTON, N.J.-Kevin O'Hanlon has had the same 1-0 mindset from the beginning to the end of the season. From the team's rough start to the recent stretch of winning four of the last six, his 1-0 mindset never deviated.

The only way O'Hanlon and the rest of the Freedom can make the playoffs is if the team goes 1-0 this week. The Freedom face the defending PIFL Champion Nashville Venom on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Sun National Bank Center.

If the Freedom defeat the Venom, they'll clinch the third seed with Nashville taking the fourth. If they lose, they miss the playoffs, the Venom clinch the third seed, and the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks would make the fourth, and final, playoff spot.

The Venom join the Richmond Raiders and the Columbus Lions in already clinching a 2015 playoff berth.

The first step to a Freedom win Saturday is taking momentum from last week's 43-40 loss to the Columbus Lions forward with them. It came from outscoring the Lions 40-21 in quarters two, three and four, but still losing by three.

"What we haven't been able to do all year other than one time is play four quarters of football," said Head Coach Kevin O'Hanlon. "Coach (Billy) Back is a great coach, they're the defending champs, and they'll expect to win."

This matchup versus the Venom is extraordinary not only because of what's at stake, but because of the familiarity between both teams. There isn't any.

The Freedom have faced Richmond three times, and four other PIFL teams twice this season. This will be the first Freedom-Venom contest since Week 14 of 2014. There's an intrigue going against an unfamiliar 2015 opponent with a lot at stake.

"Well, they don't know much about us either," said quarterback Steve Panasuk, who leads the PIFL in completion percentage (63.4 percent) and pass efficiency (107.4). "The good thing is, we have ten games of film on them, and they do on us. Whoever prepares the most is going to win this game.

"We're having more film time together, more after practice together, and we understand that if we don't win this game, our season is over."

To learn more about the Trenton Freedom, call 800-500-1776 or visit www.trentonfreedom.com. Go to Comcast Tix to get your tickets now.

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