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Georgia Fire Ready to Set PIFL Ablaze

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

ROME, GA (April 3, 2014) - The Georgia Fire of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) kick off their inaugural season this Saturday April 5th at 7:30 PM when they play hosts to the defending champion Alabama Hammers at the Forum Civic Center.

It's been a quick couple of months since the announcement of indoor football returning to Rome, in a matter of days all the talk will finally result in action when the Fire finally take the field.

After a two-week training camp that included the Fire getting the opening week of the PIFL season off, they will open their inaugural season hosting the defending champion Hammers who are coming off an opening-week 57-40 loss to the Nashville Venom.

Both the Hammers and Fire reside in the PIFL's American Conference so Saturday's early season meeting could play vital roles in deciding which two members out of the four represent the conference in the playoffs. The other two members, Columbus Lions and Nashville Venom, will be busy playing in their home-openers against Richmond and Harrisburg respectively.

Despite being new in name and city, the Georgia Fire boast a number of key veterans that will set this new team far apart from being confused as expansion. The team arguably has the best 1-2 combination at quarterback in Cecil Lester and Chris Mitchell. Combined the pair started in 24 games last season with Lester (Albany) leading all passers in completions (169), passing yards (2242), and touchdowns (41). Meanwhile, Mitchell finished the year in the top five in those same categories while managing a 59.9 completion percentage.

In all, Georgia hoards nine former members of the now defunct Albany Panthers. Including QB Lester, receivers Antwontis Cutts (2012 PIFL Championship Game MVP), John Harris, Clenton Rafe, and Johnny Lester all made the move up north. Johnny Lester ended his 2012 rookie campaign on a tear combining to lead all receivers in receptions the final nine weeks of the season. On the defensive side, the blaze can be traced to veterans LB Larry Edwards and DB Demetrie McCray. Combined the pair have 15 years of experience with Edwards fifth all-time in the PIFL in sacks with 11. DL William Hollis, DL Clinton Barley, and LB Robert Russell all provide PIFL experience with Russell seeing the most action a season ago (11 games with Louisiana).

Led by Head Coach Cosmo DeMatteo, experience in playing in the PIFL is rampant on the Fire roster. Cos even shares some familiarity with his counterpart on Saturday, Dean Cokinos, previously serving as both a player and assistant coach in the past. Saturday's inaugural game will be a second chance as a Head Coach for DeMatteo, he was the head honcho for the Knoxville Nighthawks a season ago.

To follow all the action, be sure to tune into for all of Saturday's action. Kick is at the Forum Civic Center kicks is 7:30 PM and for single game ticket information log on to

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