KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Command host the Georgia Force Saturday, May 26 at 8 p.m. ET at the Sprint Center. The Command (1-8) earned their first victory of the season last week beating the Pittsburgh Power 43-37. The Force (6-4) are on a three-game winning streak and lead the American Conference South Division.
Against Pittsburgh, Command QB Matt Gutierrez (6-4, 230, Idaho State) earned Russell Offensive Player of the Game honors after throwing for 262 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for another. The Kansas City defense continued their dominant play, holding Pittsburgh (2-8) to their lowest point total of the season. Gutierrez also won the National Guard MVP for Week 11, as voted on by fans.
“It feels great to finally get one,” said Command coach Danton Barto. “It was ugly all the way to the end but we got the win we needed. It shows you a lot about the character of this team because 0-8 teams don’t find ways to win.”
Despite 14 penalties committed by the Command, the defense continued to keep KC in contention, as DB J.C. Neal forced his third fumble of the season and defensive linemen Chris Lyle and Tommy Chavis each recovered fumbles to keep Pittsburgh from pulling away.
“I’ve been saying all year our defense is pretty good,” said Barto. “On offense, we find ways to make mistakes but we rallied around each other and found a way. Our defense stepped up like it always does and we put it on them to win it for us.”
Kansas City spread the ball around earning scores from four different receivers including former Power WR/QB Xavier Lee who rushed for a touchdown, and Olathe, Kansas-native Anthony Parks, who earned his first career touchdown in the game. The Command offensive unit scored on four-of-five drives in the first half, their best offensive effort of the season.
The third quarter scoring woes continued as Pittsburgh’s defense stopped the Command on back-to-back drives to start the second half while continuing to put the ball in the end zone. The Command scored their only third quarter offensive points at 1:21 to stay even with the Power at 34-34.
Kansas City’s biggest lead of the season came with just 1:22 left in the fourth quarter when Command QB Matt Gutierrez connected with WR Armand Robinson for a 20-yard touchdown, putting KC up 43-34 and bringing Robinson’s touchdown total to seven in just three games.
Kansas City and Georgia have played three times (twice in 2006 and once in 2008), when the team was known as the Kansas City Brigade. Georgia won all three contests.
The Command stay in Kansas City to host the Utah Blaze (6-4) Saturday, June 2 at 7 p.m. at Sprint Center. The game will air live on Sports Radio 810 WHB, KSMO TV 62 and Ustream.tv/kansascitycommand. The Force play host to New Orleans VooDoo Saturday, June 2nd 7:00 p.m. at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.