Monthly Archives: May 2012

CJ Johnson Earns Week 11 JLS Ironman

CHICAGO – Arizona WR MAURICE PURIFY has been awarded the Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week award, while Spokane DB TERRANCE SANDERS has been named the Riddell Defensive Player of the Week and Georgia WR CJ JOHNSON has been named JLS Ironman of the Week for Week 11 of the 2012 AFL season. In addition to these three awards, the AFL is also awarding the Cutters Catch of the Week, AFL Playmaker of the Week and Spalding Highlight of the Week. The Cutters Catch of the Week award winner for Week 11 is DB JEREMY KELLEM of the New Orleans VooDoo. Arizona QB NICK DAVILA has been awarded the AFL Playmaker of the Week award, while the Spalding Highlight of the Week award winner is Jacksonville FB RENDRICK TAYLOR.

JLS IRONMAN OF THE WEEK
Johnson (5-10, 180, Tennessee State University) shined as a receiver and return man in Week 11, hauling in 11 balls for 171 yards and two scores on offense, including a 49-yard touchdown reception, while totaling 201 return yards and a 55-yard kickoff return touchdown on special teams. Johnson will receive a timepiece crafted by JLS for his efforts.

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American Red Cross Blood Drive

On Friday, June 1st from 1-6 p.m., the American Red Cross will be holding a blood drive in conjunction with the Georgia Force at the Gwinnett Arena Box Office Building! All presenting donors will receive 25% off sideline seats, a voucher for a free round of putt putt from the Georgia Trail at Sugarloaf, and a Papa John’s $10 discount card eligible for any online order. Donors will also be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a Georgia Force autographed jersey and football!

Bonus: the Force players will be at the arena from 1-6 p.m. signing autographs for all generous donors!

WHAT: American Red Cross Blood Drive in conjunction with the Georgia Force

WHEN: Friday, June 1st from 1- 6 p.m.

WHERE: Gwinnett Arena Box Office Building
6400 Sugarloaf Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097

HOW: Schedule online at redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: georgiaforce

For additional information, please contact Henry Levin by calling 770.609.1311 or emailing hlevin@georgiaforce.com

Force Defeat Milwaukee Mustangs 58-55

The Force pulled out a narrow victory against the Milwaukee Mustangs with a final game score of 58-55 in the Arena Football League’s Week 11 contest held at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

On the opening kickoff, the Mustangs managed a bar ball. Two plays later, Milwaukee QB Gino Guidugli snuck in a touchdown, giving the Mustangs an early lead. The Force responded quickly, with a 50 yard kickoff return by WR CJ Johnson. On the first play from scrimmage, QB RJ Archer found Johnson for a 5 yard touchdown to Johnson, tying the game 7-7.

The game continued to clip along at a fast pace, with a 4 yard touchdown pass from Guidugli to Thurman for Milwaukee. The Mustangs kept up their momentum at the start of the second quarter. Off a turnover, the Mustangs drove down the field and a blown coverage by Force defense allowed a touchdown pass from Guidugli to Jenkins. After a big fourth down stop, Milwaukee drove down the field, and a two yard rush by FB Thom Clairborne pulled the Mustangs lead up to 28-7. The Force quickly responded with a 55 yard kickoff return by CJ Johnson, narrowing the Milwaukee lead to 15 points. On the ensuing kickoff, the Force got a bar ball, recovered by Force DB Roger Brown. Guidigli rushed for two yards, resulting in a touchdown, pulling Milwaukee up to a fourteen point lead with roughly four minutes left in the second quarter. The Force responded with a 49 yard touchdown pass from Archer to Johnson. The Mustangs ended the first half with a 26 yard touchdown pass from Guidugli to WR Andrae Thurman.

The Mustangs opened the second half with a 34 yard touchdown pass from Guidugli to Jenkins, pulling their lead up to 48-27. Archer managed to complete a pass to WR Larry Shipp, narrowing the Mustangs lead to 48-34 with 4:32 left in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Archer threw a 10 yard touchdown pass to WR Jake Allen, narrowing the score gap to 48-41. The Mustangs quickly fought back with a 25 yard touchdown pass from Guidugli to Thurman. The Force answered with a 25 yard touchdown pass from Archer to Shipp with 6:25 left in the game. On the ensuing kickoff, K Carlos Martinez nailed the perfect onside kick, recovered by WR/LB Jeremy Grier. A few plays later, FB Mykel Benson rushed in a two yard touchdown to tie up the game with 1:19 left. With 7 seconds left in the game, Martinez secured a 38 yard field-goal, securing another Force victory with a final game score of 58-55.

The Force will be on the road again next weekend, facing the Kansas City Command on Saturday, May 26th at 8 p.m. EST at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The game will be streamed live on Ustream.

The Force Take On The Mustangs TONIGHT!

What do RJ Archer, Mykel Benson, Broderick Stewart, and Bruce McCaleb all have in common? All four Force players are back on their old stomping ground of Milwaukee, Wisconsin this week! The four players were all a part of the Milwaukee roster at some point during the team’s inaugural season.

The Force are taking on the Mustangs TONIGHT at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. EST. The game will be streamed LIVE on Ustream. If you’re tuning into the game, be sure to Tweet us using the hashtag #ForceVsMustangs!

Force Weather The Storm

The Force beat the Tampa Bay Storm with a final game score of 44-41 in a nail-biting contest held in The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. The game was played in front of 3,859 arena football fans.

With starting QB RJ Archer in mini-camp with the Detroit Lions, Kevin Eakin stepped with no issues. He led the Force to 24 first half points by throwing touchdowns of 13 and 28 yards to receivers Jake Allen and Larry Shipp, respectively.

Fullback Mykel Benson showed off his bruising skills as he rumbled 3 yards for the Force first touchdown of the game to tie the score at 7. Linebacker Jeremy Grier then intercepted Storm starting Quarterback Stephen Wasil to set up a 20 yard field-goal by Carlos Martinez. The Force held on to a 10-7 lead heading into the second quarter.

The defense then turned it up a notch. On the Storm second possession of the second quarter, the Force defense forced a four and out. Two minutes later Eakin and Allen hooked up for a 13 yard touchdown. Defensive tackle Kris Cooke then became a major factor. Cooke ended the first half with three quarterback pressures and a sack. His last quarterback pressure led to the second interception by the Force, this time Tracy Belton managed to get his hands on it. With just over a minute left in the first half, Eakin found Shipp for a 28 yard touchdown reception and a 24-14 halftime lead.

The Force maintained a seven point lead entering the third quarter, 27-20 as only a 40 yard field goal by Force kicker Carlos Martinez and a 10 yard touchdown reception by Storm wide receiver Amarri Jackson were the only points scored in the quarter.

The ship did not sink tonight, as Larry Shipp took control in the final quarter. Shipp scored his second touchdown of the game on a reverse from two yards out to extend the lead back to 14 in the opening moments of the the fourth. With just under five minutes remaining and the lead down to seven, Shipp hauled in his third score. This time Eakin scrambled to his right
and threw a dart to Shipp in the back of the end-zone to extend the lead back to 14. After a Chandler Williams touchdown, Shipp again got his hands on the ball. Despite a late touchdown by Tampa Bay, the Force held onto win their only home game of May 44-41. With the win, the Force took over first place in the Southern Division.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Larry Shipp, Georgia
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Kris Cooke, Georgia
JLS Ironman of the Game: CJ Johnson, Georgia
AFL Playmaker of the Game: Tracy Belton, Georgia
Cutters Catch of the Game: Prechae Rodriguez catch off the net for the first touchdown of the game, Tampa Bay
Spalding Highlight of the Game: Jeremy Grier’s interception
National Guard MVP: Larry Shipp

The Force will be on the road next weekend, facing the Milwaukee Mustangs on Friday, May 18th at 8 p.m. EST at the Bradley Center Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The game will be streamed live on Ustream.

CJ Johnson Wins Cutters Catch of the Week and AFL Playmaker of the Week

WR CJ Johnson (5’10, 180, Tennessee State) was an integral part in the Force’s 55-52 defeat of the Pittsburgh Power last Saturday. The Arena Football League took note of Johnson’s exemplary performance and awarded him two league-wide awards: the Cutters Catch of the Week and the AFL PLaymaker of the Week. Congratulations, CJ!

CUTTERS CATCH OF THE WEEK
Johnson made a spectacular one-handed touchdown catch in the Force’s 55-52 victory over the Pittsburgh Power in Week 9. The touchdown was one of three Johnson recorded in the game. He will receive a Cutters t-shirt and hat for his efforts in Week 9.

AFL PLAYMAKER OF THE WEEK
Johnson was also named AFL Playmaker of the Week for his efforts on both offense and special teams. Johnson accumulated 304 all-purpose yards in Week 9, with 116 coming in the receiving game and 188 yards off kick returns. He has four straight games with an all-purpose yardage total in triple digits.

The Force will be home this weekend, facing the Tampa Bay Storm on Saturday, May 12th at 7 p.m. EST at the The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. The game will be televised on WSB MeTV 2.2 Atlanta, as well as streamed live on Ustream. Call 770.609.1300 to purchase your tickets today!

QB RJ Archer Heading To Detroit Lions Mini Camp

Force starting QB RJ Archer (6’2, 225, William and Mary) has been invited to attend the NFL’s 2012 Detroit Lions Mini Camp. Archer leaves for Detroit Thursday morning, and will participate in practices and meeting with the Lions on Friday and Saturday before returning to Georgia on Sunday. Mini Camps are designed to give rookies an opportunity to showcase their skills to NFL coaches and staff, potentially earning them a position on the roster.

“It’s definitely a good opportunity; it’s always great when an NFL team wants to take a look at you,” stated Archer. “I’m just ready to get up there and get on the field and show them what I can do.”

Head Coach Dean Cokinos agrees that this is an advantageous opportunity for Archer. “This is part of the deal in the AFL,” explained Cokinos. “It is our goal to develop and promote as many players as possible to get them to the next level. RJ deserves this opportunity.”

Archer is not the only Force player to get a chance to pursue his NFL dreams in recent months: WR Rodney Bradley signed with the Baltimore Ravens back in September. Additionally, WR Justin Harper and DB Jamar Wall signed with the Canadian Football League in January.

The Force will be home this weekend, facing the Tampa Bay Storm on Saturday, May 12th at 7 p.m. EST at the The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. The game will be televised on WSB MeTV 2.2 Atlanta, as well as streamed live on Ustream.

Calling The Shots

This week, head coach Dean Cokinos beefed up his coaching staff with two new additions: Cosmo Dematteo as defensive coordinator, and Demetrius Derico as defensive backs and special teams coach. Dematteo and Derico will join Cokinos and line coach James Clark for the remainder of the 2012 season.

A 2001 graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, DeMatteo spent 2010 and 2011 as a Receivers Coach for the Toronto Argonauts. Prior to that, DeMatteo held the position as Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Director of Player Personnel for the Tennessee Valley Vipers from 2008 to 2009. Additionally, DeMatteo was the Wide Receiver and and Passing Game Coordinator Coach at the Baylor School during that time. Most recently, he assisted the Force coaching staff at the 2012 training camp.

Derico, an arena football veteran, signed with the Alabama Hammers during their inaugural Southern Indoor Football League season. Prior to that, Derico led the af2’s Vipers in tackles during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, before joining the AFL’s Alabama Vipers as defensive backs coach in 2010. Derico played collegiately for Alabama State, before posting 44.5 tackles for the AFL’s New Orleans VooDoo in 2007. In 2008, Derico became an integral member of the Tennessee Valley Vipers on defense, completing 85 tackles and 10 interceptions on the teams’ run to the Arena Cup championship. Derico posted 94 tackles and a pair of interceptions for the Vipers before he was given the position as defensive backs coach.

The Georgia Force managed to pull out a narrow victory against the Pittsburgh Power with a final game score of 55-52 in the Arena Football League’s Week 9 contest held in The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh stopped Georgia on the first drive, and were able to secure a 7 point lead shortly after by QB PJ Berry. On the ensuing kickoff, FJ Johnson gave the Force good field position with a 25 yard return. On 3rd and 2, QB RJ Archer found WR Larry Shipp for a 16 yard touchdown. The Force managed to tie the score at 13-13 with a 3 yard touchdown pass from Archer to WR Mike Johnson at the end of the first quarter.

During the first play of the second quarter, WR Jeremy Grier forced a fumble. Two plays later, WR CJ Johnson scored an eight yard touchdown pass. WIth roughly 10 minutes left in the second quarter, the Power managed to gain a one point lead, 20-19. With roughly 4 and a half minutes left in the second quarter, the Force answered with a 5 yard touchdown grab by Shipp.

Pittsburgh struck first coming out of the half with a touchdown pass from Bryan Randall to Mike Washington. An interception return by the Power pulled the Pittsburgh lead up to 39-27. DB Tracy Belton secured a pick-6 with 3 and half minutes left in the third quarter. With only 3 and half minutes left the game, Archer was able to make a thirty five yard touchdown pass to pull the Force up 55-52.

The Force will return home next weekend, facing the Tampa Bay Storm on Saturday, May 12th at 7 p.m. EST at the The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. The game will be televised on WSB MeTV 2.2 Atlanta, as well as streamed live on Ustream.

Second Annual Georgia Force Youth Camp

The Georgia Force is thrilled to announce that the date for the second annual youth football camp has been set for Friday, June 8th beginning at 8 a.m. at The Arena at Gwinnett Center. All youth between the ages of 6 and 13 are invited to attend the camp and learn the fundamentals of football from current Force players. Registration will begin at 8 a.m., with camp promptly kicking off at 9 a.m. A catered lunch by Papa John’s will be served at 11 a.m., followed by an autograph session with the Force players at 12 p.m. Attendees should wear athletic gear fit for Astro Turf.

The cost of the camp is $40 per camper until Wednesday, June 6th. The price will be $50 the day of the camp. Cost includes a youth t-shirt, a ticket to the June 9th Georgia Force versus Jacksonville Sharks game at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, a post-camp meal provided by Papa John’s, and the post-camp autograph session. To register online, please visit http://www.georgiaforce.com/fans-kids/football-camp/.

WHAT: Second Annual Georgia Force Youth Football Camp

WHEN: Friday, June 8th from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.

WHERE: The Arena at Gwinnett Center
6400 Sugarloaf Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097

COST: $40 Until June 6th, 2012
$50 Day of Camp

For additional information, please contact Brad Graham by calling 404.966.3180 or emailing bgraham@georgiaforce.com.