A defensive slugfest turned into a shootout late in the fourth quarter at The Hive Sunday night. Atlanta came out on top 24-20 with a brilliant catch from Eric Vinson in traffic in the closing seconds, dropping Tallahassee to 4-1, improving the Swarm to the same record. The Swarm grabbed the point differential tiebreaker in the now jumbled top of the Eastern Conference to move to the top of the standings.
The Swarm won the game with brilliant run defense, holding the Pride – and one of the league’s top backs J. Calvin Kim to -6 yards rushing – that is not a typo. Atlanta’s run defense moves to No. 1 in the league, now allowing just 74.4 yards on the ground per game. Tallahassee held BDG Hollewood to only 20 yards on 11 carries. With running backs struggling, it was the quarterbacks who needed to step up. Atlanta’s Malcolm Mandel was nothing short of extraordinary, completing 30-of-45 passes for 390 yards and three touchdowns with just one turnover. Tallahassee had two costly interceptions thrown in the endzone that stalled first half drives. At the end of the third quarter, the game was tied 3-3. While Eric Vinson scored the game-winner, tight end Kody Taylor was the primary fourth quarter hero, taking three catches to the house twice – 101 total yards. For the second-straight season, the Pride failed to conquer the Swarm in Atlanta.
Tallahassee hosts St. Louis in Week 6. Atlanta will welcome Baltimore, another top team in the East that has struggled to perform at The Hive.