It took 1198 days but the Pittsburgh Power have finally clinched the first playoff berth in franchise history. Three years, three months and 10 days after playing their inaugural game against the Philadelphia Soul, the Pittsburgh Power (11-3) punched their ticket to the playoffs with a 57-27 win over the Iowa Barnstormers.
The Power seem to like having Iowa (6-8) as the opponent for key moments in franchise history as they also beat the Barnstormers by 30 points for the first win in team history back in that first 2011 season. This time around the achievement is a lot more monumental.
The story of the dramatic turnaround of a Power team that went a combined 9-27 in 2012 and 2013 continues to unfold before our eyes but no matter what we know this season will include playoff football.
Once again the Power defense helped set the tone in this one. Carson Coffman, making his return to the lineup after missing several games with an injury, finished 20 of 38 for 186 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Power defense added a safety with just over a minute to go in regulation to help seal the deal. Al Phillips set a single game record with 13 total tackles for the Power to help lead the defensive effort.
Pittsburgh’s offense was only stopped once all night and Tommy Grady had a very efficient night completing 24 of 31 passes for 334 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions. All three Power receivers crossed the century mark in receiving yards. Prechae Rodriguez had nine catches for 116 yards and two scores, Rodney Wright finished with eight catches for 107 yards and four touchdowns and Shaun Kauleinamoku hauled in seven catches for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Pittsburgh still remains in the hunt for the Eastern Division title but will need the Cleveland Gladiators (11-1) to start losing some games in a hurry otherwise they will have to settle for the top wild card spot and will travel South to take on the Southern division winner. The battle for the division continues next week as the Power travel to Jacksonville (4-8) to take on the Sharks.
Photo Courtesy Of Pittsburgh Power Facebook Page