Richmond Raiders fall to Hammers in Championship Game

Four turnovers prove too much for Raiders to overcome

(July 8, 2013) The Alabama Hammers’ defense registered four takeaways, and their offense didn’t miss a beat, as they topped the Raiders 70-44 in the PIFL Championship Game.

Russell Hill threw touchdown passes on each of the Hammers’ first four possessions, two each to Larry Shipp and Mico McSwain, leaving the Raiders with little margin for error. Warren Smith brought the Raiders to within six points twice, but threw interceptions that led to two Alabama TDs including a Dan Ross one yard run. Following that score, Smith’s third interception was taken back eight yards for a touchdown by Jeremy Grier to cap a 21-0 run and make the score 42-15.

Hill threw two 40-yard touchdowns in the second half and finished the game with seven scores and 262 yards on his 16 completions. He and the Hammers offense weren’t stopped until the fourth quarter, when RoShawn Marshall stripped Shipp after he caught a pass, picked up the loose ball, and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. Otherwise, bright spots were few and far between for the Richmond defense, which yielded a season high 70 points.

Smith threw for four touchdowns but finished with four interceptions. He racked up 258 yards, marking the team-record sixth time this season he topped 250 yards in the air. Herb Jones caught 12 balls for 122 yards and a touchdown, his sixth 100-yard game of 2013. T.C. Stevens started the game with an uno and added another in the fourth quarter.

Jason Lovett returned to the Raiders’ lineup and had a touchdown catch and two kickoff returns. Hakeem Moore had two receiving touchdowns. McSwain found the end zone on four of his five catches. Shipp had a game high 143 yards and three scores. Each team had two sacks, with Preston Hines and Brandon Sutton getting takedowns for the Raiders.

The Raiders finish the 2013 season with an overall record of 8-6 and a second straight appearance in the championship game.