The Pittsburgh Power have finished their historic 2014 regular season with an Arena Football League record 12-straight wins to end a season and are primed for a run in their first ever appearance in the AFL Playoffs. The Power enter the postseason as the 3 seed in the American Conference, despite an impressive 15-3 record, and will meet up with the South Division Champion Orlando Predators on the road. Kickoff at CFE Arena for the contest between the Power and Predators is set for 2:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 3.
The Power, who finished the season with a franchise record 15 wins, broke nearly every team record since their conception in 2011. Behind 2012 Arena Football League MVP QB Tommy Grady, the Power have scored more points and have amassed more offensive yardage than any of their previous seasons. Defensive back Virgil Gray picked off 11 passes in just 11 games, a single-season Power record, helping the Power defense rank second in the AFL this season
After blowing a second half lead in the season opener against Cleveland, the Power cut ties with Head Coach Derek Stingley and moved forward with 2012 AFL Coach of the Year Ron James at the helm. Behind James, the Power went 15-2 including a perfect 7-0 at home and amassed 12 wins in a row from May 3 through the regular season finale.
Pittsburgh heads to Orlando for the second time this season after earning a thrilling victory in Week 11 on May 24. In that meeting, Grady connected with WR Hank Edwards for a touchdown with one second left to tie the game at 61 and Power K Julian Rauch sealed the deal with an extra point to give the Power a 62-61 victory.
The Power will be facing off against Bernard Morris, the team’s quarterback from their inaugural season in 2011. Now in his first season with Orlando, Morris has completed 64.9% of his passes for 2,191 yards and 47 touchdowns leading the Predators to an 11-7 record in 2014. Orlando is led by Head Coach Rob Keefe, who is 3-1 all time in playoff games. In 2010, Keefe became the youngest head coach to win an ArenaBowl after leading the Spokane Shock to the championship. In 2012, Keefe served as the Utah Blaze’s Defensive Coordinator under Ron James.
Although this is the Power’s first ever appearance in the playoffs, the experience of Grady and Gray, who was named the Defensive Player of the Game in ArenaBowl XXVI, will prove to be vital. If the Power advance to the American Conference Finals, they will face the winner of the game between the Philadelphia Soul and Cleveland Gladiators on August 2. If Cleveland wins, the Power will be on the road again, but if the Soul pull off the upset, Pittsburgh will host their in-state rivals at CONSOL Energy Center the following weekend.