By Matt Popchock
Hear what head coach Chris Siegfried had to say after his Pittsburgh Power (2-5) fell to the East Division rival Cleveland Gladiators (4-3) in Saturday’s Arena Football League contest, a 58-43 decision at CONSOL Energy Center.
Siegfried discussed the debut of former Virginia Tech product and 2004 ACC Player of the Year Bryan Randall, who connected on 28 of 44 pass attempts for 309 yards, five touchdowns, and two picks in defeat, ending with an efficiency rating of 93.8. Although the Power have collectively thrown a league-worst 16 INT’s, Randall’s 63.6 completion percentage is better than that of any of the other three signal-callers they’ve used.
Siegfried also talked about a career night for wide receiver Mike Washington, who raised his team lead in touchdown catches to 14. The former Aliquippa/University of Hawaii standout, affectionately known as “The Joystick,” set a team single-game record with 13 receptions Saturday, good for three scores and a season-best 170 yards. Former NFL All-Pro Jerome Mathis held the original franchise record of 12, set on June 11, 2011 against the Tampa Bay Storm.
In addition, Siegfried clarified a controversial call during Saturday’s game later found to be the correct one. Late in the second half, the Power had an apparent net recovery touchdown that would have supplied significant help on the comeback trail. However, it was deemed by officials that, since the kickoff in question touched the back wall, it was an automatic touchback, giving Cleveland the ball at its own 5-yard line.
As those of you who read our live in-game blog probably noticed, there was plenty of confusion in press row at the time, but you can click on the link below to hear the head coach’s explanation:
Randall addressed the media himself following Siegfried’s remarks, and he was joined at the podium by veteran defensive back Chris LeFlore, who also set a Power record on Saturday.
LeFlore, who excelled with the defunct Dallas Vigilantes in 2011, picked off John Dutton’s first pass of the night and nearly took it to the house, setting up an easy TD run by P.J. Berry that gave the Power an early 14-0 lead. That was LeFlore’s sixth INT of the year, breaking the 2011 mark set by former Aliquippa/Pitt product Josh Lay, which ties him for second in the AFL in that category.
He talked about some of the issues on defense, as the Power allowed 35 unanswered points in the second quarter, while Randall discussed how he will move forward with the offense, which sits toward the bottom of the league at an average of 47 points per game.
You’ll hear LeFlore first, then you’ll hear Randall interject:
The Power will try to avoid their second three-game losing streak of the season when they host the Georgia Force at CONSOL Energy Center Saturday night at 8:00.
(Follow the Power on Twitter @AFLPittsburgh.)
(Follow me on Twitter @mpopchock.)