Former Georgia Force DB and Current Reality Show Contestant Ryan Bowers Set To Toss Coin On Saturday

The Georgia Force is preparing to welcome back a former player turned reality television star at this Saturday’s divisional contest against the Jacksonville Sharks at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Ryan Bowers, former DB for the Force and current contestant on a prime-time network reality television show is set to toss the coin at the 7 p.m. kickoff.

A Georgia native, Bowers spent the 2011 season with the Force. He has also had stints with the AFL’s Orlando Predators and the Cleveland Gladiators, as well as the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and NFL Europe’s Amsterdam Admirals. Last year with the Force, Bowers recorded 18 tackles with 2 assists.

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Private Tour For Season Ticket Holders

Before tailgating this Saturday, June 9th, all season ticket holders are invited to a private, behind-the-scenes tour featuring the official Georgia Force locker room guided by team president Corey Remillard. Season ticket holders should meet at the front of the Arena at Gwinnett Center at 2:30 p.m. The tour will last approximately one hour.

The Force will take on the Jacksonville Sharks at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. The AFL week 14 contest is a crucial match-up for the Force, as the first place in the South division is still up for grabs. When the Force met the Sharks earlier this season, they dominated the game, with a final score of 69-41. The Sharks will no doubt be looking for revenge and to keep their 3-game winning streak alive. The showdown will be streamed live on Ustream as well as televised on WSB’s MeTV 2.2, Comcast channel 248 and Charter channel 126.

Force Prepares For Final Six Game Push

With a critical divisional contest a mere few days away and the first place position in the South division wide open, the Georgia Force are making preparations for a final six game push. Due to the Force’s loss against the New Orleans VooDoo, the top spot in the South is within grasp for four out of five Southern teams. The Jacksonville Sharks currently hold the top position, with a 6-5 record. The Tampa Bay Storm and Force are tied at second, each with a 6-6 record. The VooDoo are still within reach at 5-6, and Orlando is in last place at 1-10.

The past few weeks have proven to be a tumultuous time for the Force roster. WR Brandon McRae was put on IR after breaking his thumb during the Arizona game. Shortly after, DL Louis Ellis and WR Mike Johnson were both moved to IR during the contest against Pittsburgh, for a MCL sprain and a high ankle sprain, respectively. The roster took a significant hit when DB Tracy Belton was put on injured reserve after ripping his groin during the Tampa Bay game. Starting QB RJ Archer was noticeably absent from the contest against Tampa Bay after accepting an invitation from the NFL’s Detroit Lions to attend their rookie mini-camp. Two weeks later, Archer tied the knot and was not able to participate in the game against the Kansas City Command. As a result, the Force coaching staff made a series of additions, including QB Bryant Moniz and DB Richard Torres, both out of Hawaii, DB Ahmad Hawkins, a former Force player, and WR Shay Hodge, a former Ole Miss star who has had stints with the San Francisco 49ers, the Washington Redskins, and the Cincinnati Bengals.

“The last four or five weeks have been challenging, with all of the sudden and unexpected changes occurring due to injuries along with RJ and Larry Shipp missing games for personal reasons,” explained head coach Dean Cokinos. The coaching staff also lost a valuable member when Willie Gary accepted a full time high school coaching job. Cokinos and his staff remain positive, though: “Many of the first-year AFL players on our roster have received an opportunity to develop and get valuable game experience. Also, we have won three of the last five division contests to keep us in the race; however, losing to New Orleans makes this week’s game against Jacksonville critical to our season and it is imperative that we get back on track,” stated Cokinos.

The Force will remain home this weekend, facing the Jacksonville Sharks on Saturday, June 9th at 7 p.m. EST at the The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. When the Force met the Sharks earlier this season, they dominated the game, with a final score of 69-41. The Sharks will no doubt be looking for revenge and to keep their 3-game winning streak alive. The showdown will be streamed live on Ustream as well as televised on WSB’s MeTV 2.2, Comcast channel 248 and Charter channel 126.

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.

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.