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Short-handed Power look for 1st division win

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Friday, May 2, 2014, 11:21 p.m.

In his short time with the Power, coach Ron James marveled over his team's three-game winning streak. He also chafed over a two-game losing streak.

Lessons gleaned from those first five Arena Football League games elevated James' expectation level entering Saturday's 7 p.m. scrape against the Philadelphia Soul at Consol Energy Center. Both teams are 3-3.

The Power's approach this week is two-fold: snap an early-season skid and also secure the team's first American Conference East victory. However, the Power must do it without a pair of receivers who helped key the team's 3-1 start.

“It's a very important game for us because we haven't won a game in our division yet,” James said. “Our first four games we took steps in a positive direction, but we took a big step backward. We let the team know, and we let the staff know that losing two games in a row is not acceptable.”

James believes that “character reveals itself.” Pertaining to the Power's first of three home games this month — and second home game of the season against a division foe — James believes in his team.

“We will find the true character of our football team,” said James, who was named AFL Coach of the Year with the Utah Blaze in 2012. “I'm looking forward to them accepting the challenge.”

Quarterback Tommy Grady, who played for James at Utah, is seeking a bounce-back game. Grady has tossed 32 touchdowns and six interceptions in his first season with the Power, but he completed only one of his first eight passes as Cleveland scored touchdowns on its first three possessions last week. Grady had three touchdown passes in a 55-28 loss.

Unfortunately, Grady won't be throwing to Aaron Lesue, who suffered a torn ACL against Cleveland and is lost for the season. Lesue set the Power's single-game franchise record for receiving touchdowns and total touchdowns with six against Arizona. Prechae Rodriguez, third on the team with seven touchdown receptions, remains sideliend with a knee injury.




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