Team’s leading wide receiver was PIFL Player of the Week twice last season
Today, the Richmond Raiders announced that wide receiver Hakeem Moore, the team’s leading receiver in 2013, has signed with the team for the 2014 season. In addition to pacing the Raiders in yards and touchdowns, Moore finished third in the league in receptions and second in yardage. The Raiders also beefed up the offensive line with the addition of Stedman Gardner, and signed Torez Jones, a defensive back with arena experience.
Hakeem Moore (Towson) gave Raiders fans a highlight reel play in the Raiders’ thrilling victory in the PIFL Semifinals last season. His diving touchdown catch in the final 30 seconds provided the winning margin in the game. He tied a career high with 12 catches in that game, and his 149 yards put him over the century mark for a league high seventh time. “It’s always good to have one of your top receivers back in camp,” said Raiders’ head coach James Fuller. “He has been a playmaker for us the past two seasons. He has improved in every part of his game since signing with us in 2012 and his stats show it.” Moore holds the team records for most yards and most touchdowns in a game, and set the franchise single season yardage mark last year. But Fuller has even higher goals for the elusive wideout. “I still think he has room to improve, which is a good thing,” he continued. “Even after having such a good season, I see him doing even better this year. His knowledge of the game should help him have another year that we all can be proud of.”
Stedman Gardner (St. Augustine) started all 41 games on the offensive line over his four years, capping his career by being named to the All-CIAA and HBCU All-American first teams after his senior season. His line led the Falcons to a second place finish in the conference in third down conversions and tallied over 100 rush yards per game. St. Augustine notched a school record 9 wins and its first ever Pioneer Bowl victory in 2010. Fuller believes that Gardner’s natural ability will help him transition to the indoor game. “Gardner is a very solid pass protector, who will give us depth along the line,” he commented. “He played with Rory [Nixon], another one of our Olinemen in college, but this is his first year in the PIFL. I think he has the talent to be a force on the line, but we need to get him used to the speed of the game. The good thing is he has good feet and a strong upper body which should help.”
Torez Jones (Western Carolina) comes to the Raiders with arena experience, having spent time with the Utah Blaze of the AFL. He was an All-Southern Conference defensive back his final season at Western Carolina. He finished second in the nation with seven interceptions and added 62 tackles. He set the school record and tied the conference record with four picks in one game. Fuller calls him a “very talented man to man DB, and at six feet tall, he uses his width well in coverage. He also has great ball skills and has athletic ability to make plays on the ball when it in flight.” Of Jones’ track record in arena ball, Fuller stated, “he has played on a high level and knows what it takes to be successful. He is a player who feels he has a lot to prove and I think he will come in ready and with a chip on his shoulder.”
2014 season and group event tickets are now on sale on the Raiders’ website, www.RichmondRaidersProFootball.com, and the Raiders’ ticket hotline at 804-780-0430. The 2014 home opener will be April 12 in a Championship Game rematch against the Alabama Hammers. Season tickets start at $35, and groups can call the hotline to get customized event packages and prices. 2014 will mark the Raiders’ fifth season of professional indoor football in the Richmond Coliseum, and third in the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL). The team has reached the league’s championship game in each of the last two seasons and has the league’s best home record (13-1) over that span.
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