BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham made its home finale a memorable one.
The Iron defeated Atlanta 17-9 on Sunday to clinch a spot in the postseason.
Sunday’s action began with a battle between the top two defenses in the league when The Legends traveled to Birmingham. The Iron were victorious, securing their place in the playoffs in a game defined by defense. Both teams combined for eight sacks, two interceptions and allowed just six third-down conversions in 28 attempts. The Iron’s third-quarter goal line stand proved to be the defining moment of the game, stopping The Legends at the one-yard line to maintain a 14-9 lead. Iron RB Trent Richardson scored the only touchdown of the game and Legends K Younghoe Koo converted all three field goal attempts, continuing his perfect kicking season (14 for 14).
Midway through the second quarter, with the score tied 3-3, Richardson scored his league-leading 11th rushing touchdown of the season for an 11-3 lead. On the next Iron possession, The Legends’ defense forced a Richardson fumble with 4:20 left in the half. Legends K Koo cut the lead to 11-6 at the half with his second field goal of the day.
Legends QB Aaron Murray replaced Matt Simms at the half and after exchanging field goals, The Legends drove to The Iron’s two-yard line with a chance to take the lead. On fourth and goal, Murray scrambled and dove for the endzone, but Iron DB Max Redfield stopped him short.
With 3:49 remaining, Legends LB Jeff Luc tallied his third sack of the day. An NFL journeyman who spent time with four different franchises, Luc finds himself in The Alliance four years after his college days at Cincinnati where he was recruited as the #1 inside linebacker in the country coming out of high school.
The sack was not enough, as The Iron forced turnovers on The Legends final two possessions to secure the win and a playoff spot
The Iron (5-3) travel to Arizona next week for a 7 p.m. start. The first round of the postseason is April 21st.