GDFL Playoff News:Columbus Fire (Ohio) Brought the Chair for Huntsville Rockets (Alabama)

by GDFL Media

Columbus,OH-The GDFL kicked off the first round of the playoffs and the matchup between the Columbus Fire and the Huntsville Rockets did not disappoint. The two teams met up in the first round of the 2022 Playoffs and the Rockets came out on top in a 32-28 hard fought battle.This year, the Rockets would have to travel to Columbus to face the Fire. The game got off to a slow start with both defenses holding strong for most of the first half.

The Fire was given one untimed down at the end of the second quarter for an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty. The Fire QB Darius Strickland dropped back and delivered a 45 yd. heave to Juwan Smith over three Rocket defenders, for the score. The PAT was good, and the Fire would lead 7-0 at the half.

The Huntsville Rockets Defense would put the first points on the board in the third quarter. Defensive End Thomas Sims picked up a Fire fumble and dashed 65 yards. The 2-pt. conversion was no good and the Fire would hold on to a 7-6 lead early in the third.

After a few stalls by both offensive units, the Fire would be backed up deep in their own territory. On third down, the Fire was penalized for holding in the endzone which would result in a Safety for the Rockets. The Rockets would take an 8-7 lead late in the third. Thomas Sims would come up huge for the Rockets Defense again as pressure was put on the Fire quarterback by DE Ryan Grinder. 

Sims would record his second fumble recovery for a Touchdown. Rockets Quarterback Rashad Louie would connect with Bejuan Clack for the two point try and the Rockets got a little breathing room with a 16-7 lead early in the fourth.

The Fire would not go quietly. Playing spectacular defense throughout the contest, they would rise to the occasion once again. On fourth and short, the Rockets chose to stick with the offensive unit to put the game away.

The Fire defense would not only stop them short but force a fumble. Defensive End John Jackson scooped up the loose ball and ran 45 yards for the score. The PAT would be blocked, and the Rockets would hold on to a 3-point 16-13 lead late in the contest. 

The Fire Offense made one last push and had the ball in rocket territory with a few minutes remaining. Rocket FS Caleb Williams would shut the door when he intercepted the pass and ran 95 yards for a Rocket touchdown.

The 2-point try was no good and the Rockets would go ahead 22-13 with under a minute left to go in the game. On the kickoff, the Fire Special Teams unit would let the ball roll into the endzone without recovery. The Rockets kickoff team noticed the error, covered the ball in the endzone for the score and the Rockets would go up 28-13. This would be the final play of the game as well as the final score of the contest.

Rockets Head Coach, Nick Benjamin, said “We had a long trip and we started off sluggish as expected. We played very well on the Defensive side of the ball accounting for three scores and that would ultimately be the tale of the game. We have another long trip ahead of us next week against a good football team, so we will use this week to fix our mistakes on both sides and get ready to play ball.”

The Rockets will travel to Racine, Wisconsin to take on the Undefeated Racine Raiders in the second round.