Steeldogs Come Home With Playoffs On The Line
Birmingham, Ala. - The Alabama Steeldogs return to the BJCC Arena this Saturday night to host the Cincinnati Jungle Kats in their regular season finale.
Alabama kept their playoff hopes alive last weekend with a 71-61 upset victory over the South Georgia Wildcats in Albany, Ga.
Now the Steeldogs (6-9) need a win over a struggling Cincinnati team (1-14) - paired with a victory by the Lubbock Renegades (6-9) over the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz (7-8) - to clinch the team's first playoff berth since 2004.
Wins by Lubbock and Alabama would create a three-way tie between the two teams and Oklahoma City. Alabama would then clinch the eighth seed based on their strength of schedule.
Steeldogs Head Coach Ron Selesky said despite the Jungle Kats' record, he expects his team to be focused on the game at hand rather than the playoff scenarios.
"We can't be thinking about a playoff berth," he said. "The best thing we can do for ourselves on Saturday is to go out and play like this is a playoff game."
The Steeldogs will try to mimic their offensive output from the South Georgia victory when they take the field against the Jungle Kats. Alabama quarterback Mitch Tanney was named the Schutt Offensive Player of the Game in Albany after completing 28-of-40 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns. Tanney also finished with four touchdown runs in the game.
"Mitch had a great game for us," Steeldogs Head Coach Ron Selesky said. "He was able to find his receivers for most of the night and make some big plays."
Two Steeldogs receivers lit up the Wildcats' defense in the game. Bradly Chavez finished with 10 catches for 165 yards and three scores, while Herman Bell caught 10 balls for 111 yards and a score.
Alabama played a solid game against the Jungle Kats in their first meeting back on May 26 at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, 65-33. Chavez lit up the Jungle Kats for 14 catches, 145 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
The Steeldogs and Jungle Kats square off at the BJCC this Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by calling Ticketmaster at 715-6000 or by logging on to steeldogs.com.
Steeldogs games can be heard live on the Alabama Steeldogs Flagship station WSPZ 690 "The Animal" and online at www.themightyx.com, with veteran broadcasters Matt Coulter and Roger Shultz calling the action.
Alabama and Lubbock must both win for the Steeldogs to clinch a playoff berth. With victories over Cincinnati and Oklahoma City, Alabama and Lubbock would move into a three-way tie at 7-9 with Oklahoma City. Alabama would have the strength of schedule tiebreaker against both teams and qualify for at least the eighth seed in the National Conference playoffs.
While the outcome of the Tennessee Valley/Louisville game has no direct effect on the Steeldogs' playoff chances, a loss by the Vipers could bump the Steeldogs into the seventh seed and eliminate Tennessee Valley and Lubbock from playoff contention based on strength of schedule. Oklahoma City would then be the eighth and final seed.
Listen for regular P.A. updates from pertinent scores around the league during the Steeldogs game this Saturday.
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