Bethlehem, PA: The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (4-5) dropped another close game, this one to Reading (2-6) this past weekend. With a final score Express 37, Steelhawks 34; this is the 3rd Steelhawk loss by three points or fewer this season.
The game started out as a defensive battle as both teams were held scoreless the entire first quarter.
The second quarter had a little more action as the teams traded touchdowns. The Steelhawks coming off a 35 yd pass from QB Dale Fink to WR Aaron Higdon. Higdon had a great game, scoring three of the Steelhawks five total touchdowns. Express took a 13-6 lead into halftime as they returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
Lehigh Valley came out to play in the third quarter, scoring with a WR Irani DeAraujo touchdown catch on their opening drive. The Express answered with a field goal. The Steelhawks had an answer of their own, this one coming from RB Ryan Leafey who ran it in from three yards out. On the ensuing kickoff, a squib kick was turned into an unintentional onside kick as Reading fumbled the ball and Lehigh Valley recovered giving them the ball back. Unfortunately the offense stalled out and wasn’t able to capitalize on the turnover. The Express managed to find the endzone before the end of the quarter as well.
The Steelhawks had a rough start to the fourth quarter as a fumble recovered in the endzone became a costly turnover as the Express lead was extended to 10, 30-20. As the Steelhawks got the ball back, they scored 14 unanswered points. All coming off Fink passes to Higdon who found the back of the endzone each time. This streak made it 34-30 Steelhawks with just under six minutes left in the game. Reading were able to score a quick touchdown to put them back in the lead, 37-34. The Steelhawks had 3:33 to counter but another turnover, the team’s fifth of the night, gave Reading the ball back where all they needed to do was take a knee to run the clock out and get their second win on the year.
While the Steelhawks weren’t their best this last game, they are still in the playoff hunt as they retain a half game lead over Chicago in the United Conference for the 4th and final playoff spot with five games remaining in the season.
Offensively, WR Aaron Higdon had 6 rec for 102 yds, 3 tds… WR Irani DeAraujo had 6 rec for 31 yds, 1 td… RB Ryan Leafey had 44 yds, 1 td on 12 att… DB Jesse Cooper 48 return yards on 1 att… Defensively… LB Mat Cohen 9 tackles… DL Brian Brikowski 7 tackles… Team had 2 forced fumbles.
The Steelhawks return to the Lehigh Valley on May 19th for the first of three home contests in a row as they take on the Omaha Beef in the two teams first meeting ever. The game is being deemed as “Salute to Heroes Night” and is being presented by Cohen & Feeley Attorneys at Law. The game will feature an auction throughout the contest with ALL proceeds going to local military families. In addition, the first 1,500 fans will receive a free Steelhawks/Cohen & Feeley drawstring bag. Tickets for the game are still available and can be purchased by calling the Steelhawks front office at 610-282-3100, via the Steelhawks Website (www.lvsteelhawks.com), or by visiting the Stabler Arena Box Office at 124 Goodman in Bethlehem. For further information on the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks please contact Executive Vice President Mike Clark at 610-282-3100.
Season ticket packages, starting as low as $8 per game, are still available but great seats are limited so reserve your seats close to the action and call the team’s front office at 610-282-3100. Don’t miss out on the fun and exciting atmosphere that is Steelhawks Professional Indoor Football!