Friday, May 6, 2011
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
DULUTH — The Georgia Force rode the momentum of a two-game winning streak into Friday night’s game against the the best offense in the Arena Football League.
However, the Force (5-3) were unable to keep the Blaze (4-3) out of the end zone late and fell 74-71.
“It was a typical arena game, Force coach Dean Cokinos said. “Whoever has the ball last has a chance to win.”
The Force got the scoring going early when quarterback Brett Elliot (374 passing yards, nine TDs) found Maurice Purify for a seven-yard touchdown pass to get things started. C.J. Johnson also scored in the first half on a 56-yard kickoff return, but the Force gave up 28 second-quarter points and trailed 40-34 at halftime.
The Force relinquished that lead less than a minute later when an onside kick was returned 10 yards by receiver Ernie Pierce for a score.
The Blaze scored 28 second-quarter points and led 40-34 at the half. The Force dug a hole in the third quarter after another fumble, building a 20-point deficit.
However the Force climbed back into the game by forcing two fumbles in the quarter, the second of which came on the kickoff following another Elliot touchdown pass.
The ball was fumbled at the Blaze 24 yard-line and and bounced off of players into the Force end zone where defensive lineman Jeff Littlejohn made the recovery.
Elliot connected with Larry Shipp and Purify in the final quarter on a great 39-yard catch and run to give the force a 71-67 lead.