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Weekly Report: Force Prepares For Utah Amidst Injuries

After falling to the Chicago Rush in Rosemont, Illinois this past weekend, the Force coaches and players are making the necessary adjustments to push for a successful next four games. These last four games against Utah, Orlando, Pittsburgh, and New Orleans are each critical match-ups for the Force; losing just one game could potentially put an end to Georgia’s run to the ArenaBowl XXV. Despite the loss to the Rush, the Force are currently in first place in the South Division, with the Jacksonville Sharks, New Orleans VooDoo, and Tampa Bay Storm all trailing closely behind at a tie for second place.

The Force were faced with a significant amount of injuries during the contest against the Rush on Saturday. On defense, DB’s Ahmad Hawkins and Marrio Norman were both forced to leave the game at different times. On offense, WR CJ Johnson had to leave the game in the third quarter, and QB RJ Archer dealt with an injury that forced him to miss two series. Despite the injury, Johnson was still able to earn the Spalding Highlight of the Week award from the Arena Football League for his 53 yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half of the game. On another positive note, QB Bryant Moniz was cleared from injured reserve at the end of last week and has been added back to the active roster. The coaches are now anxiously awaiting to hear the prognosis of Hawkins, CJ Johnson, Norman, and Mike Johnson from the team’s medical staff.

“The bottom line is that we now have a four game season and we control our own destiny,” explained head coach Dean Cokinos. “We have lacked continuity with the roster and have been very inconsistent throughout the year. We have had steady play and growth on defense, even with all the injuries in the secondary. However, this is arena football, and it is vital that our offense executes at a higher and more consistent level for the remainder of the season for
us to have a chance to compete for the division and the #2 play-off seed.”

The Force will remain on the road this weekend, facing the Utah Blaze on Saturday, June 23rd at 9 p.m. EST at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. The showdown will be streamed live on Ustream.


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.

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.

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!

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.

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!