Allentown, PA: The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (8-1) halted the High Country Grizzlies(3-6) in all three matchups this season on their journey to hosting their first ever home playoff game. The Steelhawks had to fight for 60 minutes to put away the Grizzlies but in the end came away with a win, 67-52.
Both teams offenses sputtered on their opening drives; the first points came midway through the quarter when QB Warren Smith Jr. (16 of 22, 189 yds) found WR Brandon Renford (5 catches for 54 yds) for a four yard touchdown. On a strange sequence near the end of the quarter, High Country would get a safety but a deuce on Lehigh Valley’s ensuing kickoff would negate the points.
Lehigh Valley would put up 30 points in the second quarter as they started to pull away. Two different receivers would grab touchdown receptions – Matt Tralli (2 catches for 15 yds) and Warren Oliver Jr. (2 catches for 19 yds), Hotaling hit his second deuce of the game, FB Wyreaz Bradley (69 yds) would punch it in from a yard out, and as time expired DB Rodney Hall Jr. would add an interception return for a touchdown. Going into halftime, the Steelhawks led, 39-18.
The teams would trade scoring bursts in the third quarter, and going into the fourth, Lehigh Valley’s lead remained 21. Even with two WR Daron Clark (4 catches for 114 yds) touchdown catches from QB Dennis Harvrilla (16 of 37, 282 yds, 5 tds) in the fourth quarter, the Steelhawks held strong and held them from completing a comeback attempt. Final score: Lehigh Valley 67, High Country 52.
The Steelhawks need to roll with this momentum into the final week of their regular season and into the playoffs as they chase an NAL Championship. With the victory the Steelhawks solidified a top two seed in the NAL Playoffs, ensuring them a home first round playoff contest on Friday, June 23rd at 7:30 p.m.
Congratulations to QB Warren Smith Jr., whose six touchdown passes on the night make him the Steelhawks All-Time leader in career touchdown passes with 52. Also congratulations to Kicker Spencer Hotaling who now has the franchise’s single season record for most extra points made: 48.
The Steelhawks have also completed the Domino’s 50 Point Challenge. For the next three days, fans can get 50% off menu priced pizzas at participating Lehigh Valley locations. Use the code SH50 online, or mention the Steelhawks 50 point challenge.
The Steelhawks are on the road next week in the regular season finale, they travel to Albany, Georgia to take on the Firebirds. The game kicks off at 7:00pm and will be able to be streamed via YouTube. They will return to Embassy Bank Field inside the PPL Center on June 23rd for their first ever home playoff game! Kickoff will be at 7:30pm..
Tickets for the Steelhawks first ever Home Playoff Game are now on sale and can be purchased through the PPL Center box office, at pplcenter.com, or by calling the Steelhawks office (610-282-3100). Keep checking for the latest news and events from the Steelhawks. For further information please call Lehigh Valley Steelhawks Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Clark at (610) 282-3100, or visit our website at www.LVSteelhawks.com for the latest Steelhawks news. Reserve your seat now by calling the Steelhawks office at 610-282-3100. The Steelhawks play all of their home games on Embassy Bank Field inside the PPL Center.
Stay up to date with the Steelhawks by visiting the team website at www.LVSteelhawks.com or following them on Facebook: Lehigh Valley Steelhawks.