Raiders Hit the Road for Rematch with Knoxville


Raiders seek sweep of Knoxville in first road game of 2013

The Richmond Raiders (1-1) will renew acquaintances with the Knoxville Nighthawks (0-3) as the teams meet for the second consecutive week. Saturday’s game in Knoxville follows a 41-23 Raiders win in Richmond last Saturday.

Last week the Raiders used a balanced offensive attack, including 45 rushing yards and two touchdowns from fullback Mike Jones, to top the Nighthawks and get their first win of the season. Richmond outscored Knoxville 21-8 in the second half and twice stopped the ‘Hawks on fourth down; once on a QB sneak on fourth and one, and again after Knoxville had a first and goal at the Raiders’ six yard line. Knoxville came into the game as the most prolific offense inthe league, averaging 292 yards of total offense per game, but managed just 138 yards against the Raiders – the second-lowest total in PIFL history.

2012 PIFL MVP Antwon Young returned to the Raiders last week and started at quarterback, notching two touchdowns passing and one rushing before going down with a knee injury early in the third quarter. He did not return to the game and is being evaluated this week. His status for Saturday’s game is unknown. If Young can’t play, Warren Smith will get the start. Smith replaced Young last week and led the Raiders to three touchdowns in as many possessions. Including his start in the season opener against Alabama, Smith has completed 41% of his passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns.

Wide receivers Herb Jones and Antwun Williams each have over 100 yards on the young season, and Hakeem Moore is four yards shy of that mark. Moore and Jones have each scored two touchdowns. Mike Jones has three rushing scores and is averaging 26.5 yards per game, both of which rank second in the league. Thanks in large part to keeping Knoxville wideout Deandre Brown in check last week, Raider DB Davon Morgan is fifth in the league in tackles and third in passes defended.

The Nighthawks will be playing their home opener after three straight road games to start the season. They hope the return to familiar territory will energize the team, which has allowed a league-high 54 points per game. Knoxville came away with points on just one of three trips into the red zone last week, on pace with their 35% scoring rate on red zone possessions.

Saturday’s matchup will be broadcast live on the Raiders’ website,

Coverage starts with the pregame show at 6:30; kickoff is slated for 7:00.