The Florida Stingrays of the Gulf Coast division picked up a big win defeating the Georgia Predators out of the Heart of the South division 20-0 in Gainesville, FL Saturday night in GDFL action.
The Stingrays improve to 3-4 while the Georgia Predators fall to 4-2. It was the first time the Georgia Predators have been shutout in franchise history. The Predators return to action next week against the Georgia Crush in their first home game in over a month at Hallford Stadium in Clarkston, Ga.
In other GDFL action the East Alabama Predators (7-0) defeated the Huntsville Rockets 22-0 and remain in first place in the Heart of the South Division.
The Georgia Crush (4-2) were unable to fill their open slot this weekend after scheduled opponent the Georgia Knights shut down operations for the remainder of the season earlier this week.
The Georgia Knights cancelled their remain regular season games after an 0-5 (on the field) and 0-6 record earlier this week. Head coach Elmar Watters cited multiple injuries as the main reason why the Knights would not complete their season. The GDFL has not commented about the Knights status but has removed them from their official website.
The Nashville Storm (5-0) swept the season series against the Memphis Blast (3-2)Saturday with a 19-6 victory. Nashville is atop the Central South division and will begin a three-game road trip after the next weeks bye. The Storm will play the Indianapolis Tornadoes, Clarksville Wolfpack and Memphis Panthers on the trip. The Blast are second in the Midwest division behind top-ranked Oklahoma Thunder. Memphis will travel to the St. Louis Bulldogs before hosting the Thunder the following week.
In the Heart of the South, the division leading East Alabama Predators (6-0) defeated non-league opponent the Montgomery Buffalos 29-0. The Buffalos were a replacement for the Georgia Knights (0-6).
Steven Williams threw touchdowns passes to Jeremy Parham and Caleb Simms as the Georgia Predators (4-1) defeated the Marvel City Tigers 22-12. Kevin Fancher added a touchdown run as the Predators swept the season series against division opponent the Marvel City Tigers (2-4).
The Florida Falcons (6-0) remained in first place in the Gulf Coast division with a 31-21 victory over the Georgia Crush (3-2). James Ezell scored on a 81-yard touchdown run with less than two minutes remaining, answering a Crush touchdown, lifting the Falcons to its sixth consecutive win.
The Georgia Firebirds (2-3-1) defeated the Florida Stingrays (2-4) 24-16. Corey Williams busted off a 73-yard touchdown run in the Stingray loss. The teams split the season series and the Firebirds have a half-game lead over the Stingrays for third in the Gulf Coast division. The Firebirds tied the Panhandle Crusaders 14-all earlier this season. The Crusaders (3-1-1) only loss was 18-14 to East Alabama. Panhandle defeated the Bayou Vipers 13-8 and are alone atop the Southwest Division .
The Georgia Knights have had a tough time scoring points this season, entering Saturday’s game with only one offensive touchdown in their first four games. Those struggles continued Saturday as the Georgia Predators defeated the Knights 56-0.
Steven Williams threw touchdowns passes on the Predators first three possessions, all to Jharail Rhodes as the Predators jumped out 20-0. Rhodes finished with 4 receptions 88 yards and three touchdowns.
The Knights (0-5) had their best drive of the game going late in the second quarter before fumbling at the Predators 29. Cordero Ivory returned the fumble 65 yards for a touchdown giving the Predators a 28-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half the Georgia Predators (3-1) defense would score two more times on a 5-yard fumble return by Breland Trahan and a 35-yard interception return by Thomas Trahan. Williams added another touchdown pass to Marcus Bridges and Jean Joseph scored on a 7-yard touchdown to complete the second half scoring.
The Knights (0-5) have scored one offensive touchdown, been shutout three times and outscored 169-8 through the first five games of the season.
“Right now we have to get more players in. Our ship has been tossed because we’ve had 12 injuries to our team, 8 have been season-ending injuries and we’re hurting right now.” Knights head coach Elmar Watters said. “The thing that we have to do now is come together and try to get back to full strength.”
Predators head coach Ty Johnson has stood behind quarterback Stephen Williams all year and Williams delivered his best game of the season passing for over 160 yards and four touchdown passes in three quarters of action. Jharail Rhodes caught four passes for 88 yards and three touchdowns.
“Tonight is definitely why Steve is our quarterback. He has an excellent arm, he can read the coverage and drop it to the hot man and every week you see we have another hot man. Tonight it was Mr. Rhodes doing his thing,” Predators head coach Ty Johnson said.
The 56 points were a franchise and season-high for the Georgia Predators and their first shutout in franchise history.
The Knights will face the East Alabama Predators (5-0) next week on the road. The Georgia Predators (3-1) travel to the Marvel City Tigers (2-3).
A pair of undefeated Predators will meet in a GDFL divisional showdown today as the East Alabama Predators (3-0) travel to Hallford Stadium to take on the Georgia Predators (2-0). East Alabama is coming off a 55-2 defeat of the lowly Georgia Knights while the Georgia Predators are coming off of a 29-14 win over the Marvel City Tigers in a game that featured their backup quarterback having a hand in all four scores last week.
East Alabama features a stable of running backs that have each rushed over 100 yards this season through three games. Latrell Jenkins leads the trio in rushing followed by David Ray and starting quarterback Charles Drinkard-all are averaging over 5.0 yards per rush. Even with the rushing presence East Alabama shows signs of balance averaging 148 yards-per-game through the air however have made their living on the ground so far this season averaging close to 180 yards rushing. Drinkard is averaging close to 140 yards per game through the air
The Georgia Predators enter the game with the return of starting quarterback Stephen Williams. Williams has passed for only one touchdown this season but head coach Tyrone Johnson has firmly stated he is the starting quarterback despite missing last weeks home opener against Marvel City due to personal reasons. In Williams’ absence, Edward Russ filled by passing for 131 yards on 11-of-17 and two touchdown passes while adding two rushing in the victory over Marvel City. Johnson confirmed Russ would see some action as he has a package within the offense specifically for him.
Georgia Predators Football Saturday will be on the air at 7 pm edt with kickoff shortly following. The live broadcast can be heard here.
Edward Russ started at quarterback in the absence of starter Stephen Williams in the Georgia Predators (2-0) home opener. Russ was 11-of-17 131 yards 2 TD and an interception passing as the Predators defeated Marvel City 29-14.
Russ scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns on a 1-yard keeper with 5:02 in the first quarter. Jeremy Parham dropped what should have been a first down completion on a second quarter drive stalling the Predators offense the remainder of the half as it was 7-0 at the break.
Parham kept the momentum going following Damian Dowell’s 56-yard interception return catching a 14-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter for a 15-0 Predators lead after the two-point conversion.
Behind solid offensive line play, Smiley Jones, Kevin Fancher and Russ used the ground game on their next possession., Russ scored on a 1-yard keeper capping a 54-yard drive and led 22-0.
Marvel City (1-2) scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and trailed 22-14 with 4:54 remaining. David Cash’s 58-yard interception return set up Korey Rhodes’ 2-yard touchdown followed by a 13-yard Jadah Fuller touchdown on a quarterback draw.
The Predators had been winning the line of scrimmage on both sides and the ground game was being effective yet Marvel City was keying in on the run with the game within reach.
“We played our game, the guys really understood the concept of getting after it,” line coach Shawn Patton said. “Defensively we line the best guys up and we used our rotations real quick and it wore them down. Offensively our blocking schemes are not hard we just got after it.”
That line play opened up the playbook leading to Edward Russ hooking up with a streaking Jeremy Parham on the game-clinching 41-yard touchdown pass off playaction with 4 minutes remaining.
“I think for the role that he played stepping in an emergency situation, he doesn’t get all the snaps at practice but he proved that he’s a worthy opponent to go play against and he’s worthy of leading this team,” Johnson said. “We miss Steven but we know we have us a quality backup.”
The Predators defense held Marvel City to minus-33 yards rushing, less than 100 yards of total offense and picked off three balls. Darius Hunt, Greg Edwards, Anthony Barbour, DJ Bowden, Sam Bowman, Brian Daniels, Dowell and a host of others caused numerous disruptions to Marvel City’s offense. Marvel City playmaker Tony Rudolph was a non-factor. Rudolph entered the game with over 300 all-purpose yards through two games. The Predators kicked away from Rudolph for the most part in the kicking game and limited his touches offensively as he finished with less than 70 all-purpose yards an a interception.
“We had a little bit of nervous energy, we couldn’t get it all together but then we bounced back,” Predators head coach Tyrone Johnson said. “We started tackling and we started executing and we started improving on our fundamental things and the result speaks for itself.”
The Georgia Predators will host the East Alabama Predators next Saturday June 14th at Hallford Stadium. East Alabama defeated the Georgia Knights 55-2 last week.
The first-year Georgia Predators hit the road for a date with the Georgia Crush to open their 2014 summer schedule. The Predators used three quarterbacks on the evening and got touchdown receptions from two tight ends. They struck in the first quarter on a touchdown pass from starting quarterback Stephen Williams to Timothy Price for a 7-0 lead.
The Predators went to the bench in the second quarter with success. Second-team quarterback Edward Russ used his legs to set up his arm, tossing a touchdown pass to Aaron Houchin off playaction giving the Predators a 13-0 lead.
“Williams is our guy at quarterback,” Predators head coach Tyrone Johnson said. “We had a package in for Russ, he led us to the end zone when he was in there and with what he’s able to do with his legs it helped us tonight.” Russ rushed for over 60 yards.
The Crush battled back in the third quarter when Marcus Brooks found Lamontray Williams for a 30-yard touchdown pass on fourth down making it 13-7. That would be all the Crush (0-1) was able to muster.
“We didn’t do anything to win tonight,” Crush quarterback Marcus Brooks said. “On defense we couldn’t get off the field and on offense we couldn’t score.”
Smiley Jones sealed the deal for the Predators in the fourth quarter as his rushing touchdown with just over nine minutes remaining gave the Predators a 19-7 lead. Chris Smith was the third quarterback used by the Predators as he closed out the 19-7 victory.
“The guys showed a lot of poise tonight. The offensive line was absolutely phenomenal for us. It was a matter of execution for us all night and our defense had some big stops down in the red zone that helped us,” Johnson said.
The Predators (1-0) will host the Marvel City (AL) Tigers in their home opener Saturday June 7th at Hallford Stadium in Clarkston, GA at 7pm. Marvel City defeated the Georgia Knights 13-0 this past weekend. Edward Russ will start at quarterback for the Predators as Stephen Williams will miss the home opener.
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