0

Force offense struggles again in loss

DULUTH -- With Game 7 officially in the books after the Georgia Force dropped a 60-27 decision to the Arizona Rattlers to fall to 3-4, it's probably not the time to panic during a long and grinding 18-game schedule.

But faced with the realization of two straight games scoring 24 and 27 points, respectively, the Georgia Force will have to come up with some answers if the 2012 season is going to produce a division title or even a berth in the Arena Football League playoffs.

Two weeks ago, Georgia lost 27-24 to Orlando as the Predators picked up their first win of the season.

Sunday at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in front of 2,830 fans, Georgia dug an early hole in the second quarter and never recovered in the 33-point loss.

With the defeat, the Force fell for the third time in the last four games and now hit the road Saturday night in Pittsburgh.

"We need to take a hard look at our personnel," said Georgia Force head coach Dean Cokinos. "We're having a fundamental problem with our offense right now. Three out of our last four games have been a bad display. Right now, our defense is playing well and they have stopped some really high-scoring offenses.

"But in the arena game, the name of the game is scoring points. You also can't turn the ball over and you have to score in the 50s. Right now, we have a long way to go on offense."

Pending Monday night's outcome between Tampa Bay (3-3) and Kansas City (0-5), the Force drop into second place in the American Conference South Division with idle New Orleans leading the way at 3-3.

Georgia never led in the game, but twice tied it at 7-7 and 13-13 in the first half before Arizona (5-2) took over and scored the next 19 points en route to a 32-13 halftime lead.

After holding Arizona on 4th-and-9 at its own 11 with the Rattlers holding a 13-10 lead early in the second quarter, Georgia took over with a chance to go ahead.

But the Force settled for a 30-yard Carlos Martinez field goal and the 13-all tie.

Arizona grabbed the momentum on its next possession and marched 41 yards in four plays with former University of Cincinnati quarterback Nick Davila hitting Glen Fox for a 9-yard touchdown to make it 20-13.

Georgia then turned it over as Kevin Eakin, making his first start and the third Force quarterback this season, was intercepted by Lance Caldwell to put Arizona in business at the Force 19.

Arizona got a 16-yard field goal from Chris Gould for a 23-13 advantage.

On the ensuing drive, Eakin was tackled for a safety on the first play from scrimmage to push the Arizona lead to 25-13.

After received the free kick, Arizona promptly drove 48 yards in seven plays as Davila scored from a yard out for a 32-13 lead at the half.

Georgia did cut into the Arizona lead to start the second half as C.J.Johnson caught a 4-yard pass from Eakin to make it 32-20.

But Davila (16 of 25 passing for 224 yards, five TD passes, one rushing TD, one interception) hit Maurice Purify for an 11-yard score at the end of the third quarter and Kerry Reed on a 2-yard pass early in the fourth quarter to increase the lead to 46-20.

The Rattlers sewed it up on ensuing kickoff when the Force misplayed the kick and Markee White scooped up the loose ball and scored from four yards out for a 53-20 margin.

C.J.Johnson (seven catches for 80 yards, two TD catches, 146 all-purpose yards) caught the final Georgia TD on a 14-yard strike from Eakin.

Eakin finished 24-for-44 for 223 yards and three TD passes, but also threw a pair of interceptions.

Larry Shipp led Georgia with 10 receptions for 89 yards and one TD catch.

Reed led Arizona with eight catches for 121 yards and one TD pass while Fox had six catches for 59 yards and three TD receptions and Purify had three receptions for 53 yards and two TDs.