Swashbucklers rally in fourth quarter, get decisive two point conversion for 68-66 win
The Raiders used a late two point conversion to force overtime, but couldn’t come through with a two pointer in the second overtime period and fell to the Louisiana Swashbucklers, 68-66, in Lake Charles, LA, on Saturday, May 18.
The Raiders led by as many as 13 points in the second half, but came away empty on two straight possessions thanks to a fumble and a turnover on downs. Louisiana capitalized and took the lead with two minutes to play on quarterback Chris Mitchell’s one yard keeper. Raider signalcaller Warren Smith responded with a one yard run of his own with 25 seconds left, then threw to Brandon Grier for a game-tying two point conversion. Ernesto Lacayo missed a 43 yard field goal as time expired and the game moved to overtime.
In the first overtime period, the Swashbucklers got a 25 yard catch-and-run from Jordan Rideaux to go up by 7, matched by Herb Jones’ 10 yard reception. Jones scored again to start the second overtime, but Antwun Williams’ wide receiver pass for the mandatory two point conversion was intercepted. Louisiana defensive lineman turned fullback Tenise Uelese bowled into the end zone from eight yards to tie the game, and Mitchell rolled right, turned upfield, and stuck the ball across the goal line for two to give the ‘Bucs the win.
The six-foot, 320 pound Uelese lined up at fullback on most of his teams’ red zone plays and finished with two touchdowns and 23 yards on seven carries. But it was Mitchell who rallied his team in the fourth quarter, throwing a 29 yard bomb to Sammy Knight on the first play after Herb Jones fumbled to give the Swashbucklers a one point lead. After holding the Raiders on downs, the ‘Bucs engineered a seven play, five minute drive that was sparked by Mitchell’s 16 yard scramble to the one yard line and his sneak to extend the lead to eight.
The Raiders scored first after halftime. Jones hauled in an 18 yard pass to put the Raiders up by 13, which remained the margin after the teams traded field goals. Mitchell then completed a 19 yard pass to Ronald Davis to begin a 21-0 run.
After holding Louisiana to a field goal attempt on the game’s first possession, the Raiders began a stretch of six straight possessions with a touchdown. The Swashbucklers responded with a touchdown each time, never trailing by more than seven points in the first half, and trailed by six at halftime when Lacayo missed a 50 yard field goal at the horn. Hakeem Moore made several big plays in the first half, tallying 110 yards on just five receptions. His 38 yard touchdown opened the scoring, followed by Rodney Sledge’s first touchdown as a Raider and Joseph Jean-Pierre’s first receiving touchdown. Jones scored the final two TDs of the second quarter and finished with a career high five touchdowns and his third 100 yard game of the season. Smith set team records with 32 completions and 365 yards.
The Raiders will return home May 25 to face the Columbus Lions. Kickoff is at 7:00 pm, and tickets are available through richmondraidersprofootball.com, by calling 804-780-0430, or via ticketmaster.com