ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Georgia Firebirds (2-8) came out hot Saturday night at home, but didn't have enough gas in the tank to sank the No. 2 team in the National Arena League.
The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (9-1) won by a deceptive score, 51-26, but the game was neck and neck until the 4th quarter.
Georgia was down 19-18 at halftime, and the score was knotted at 26 late in the 3rd, but Lehigh Valley would score 25 unanswered en route to a victory.
Gregory Hankerson was the bright spot for the Firebirds.
Starting his 2nd outing at quarterback, he threw for a touchdown and added three more on the ground.
Head coach Antwone Savage is impressed with his improvement.
"He's been the best quarterback we've had to come in," said Savage after the outing. "He's been here for 3 weeks but if you didn't know any better you would think he has been here for over half of the season. He's still learning but at the same time he's making plays he's not waiting and making excuses."
Hankerson completed 20 of 37 passes for for 143 yards in his first game at home.
He performed well, but the Norfolk State product wishes it could have translated into a victory.
"I feel like I could've played better," said Hankerson. "I don't think i did as well as I should've. I made a couple plays but I'd rather win than make plays."
All will be forgiven if the Firebirds can take down the Columbus Lions in the season finale Saturday night.
Georgia hosts its rival at 7 p.m. in the Albany Civic Center to cap off its inaugural season in the NAL.
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