RAIDERS USE SPECIAL TEAMS TO BEAT PANTHERS

Raiders Use Special Teams to Beat Panthers

Kickoff units spark comeback, field goal proves decisive in 51-49 Victory

 

With less than a minute to go in the third quarter, the Raiders found themselves down by 23 points to the Albany Panthers, and their hopes for victory – much less a competitive game – seemed bleak. But special teams magic sparked a 28-0 run, and T.C. Stevens kicked the game winning field goal with eight seconds left to give the Raiders an improbable 51-49 win.

Following the touchdown that put Albany up 43-20, Joseph Jean-Pierre fielded the kickoff after a couple of bounces, then weaved through traffic 51 yards for a touchdown. Antwontis Cutts returned the ensuing kickoff and was stripped of the ball by Raibonne Charles, who recovered the fumble at the Panthers’ 11. Warren Smith threw to Brandon Grier to pull the team to within nine at 43-34, and the game became interesting.

The drama would heighten when the Raiders’ defense got their first stop all night, forcing an incomplete pass on fourth down. They narrowed the gap to a mere two points on a 17 yard strike from Smith to Hakeem Moore, then perfectly executed a surprise onside kick, recovered by special teams stalwart Jean-Pierre. Four plays later, Herb Jones stuck the ball across the goal line, and the Raiders led for the first time, 48-43.

Albany was not done, though. Cecil Lester guided his team back into the lead on a beautiful pass – and an even better sliding catch by Antwontis Cutts – at the one minute warning. After failing on the two point conversion, the Panthers had a one point lead and no time outs left, meaning the Raiders were in control of the clock for their ultimate possession.

That possession started inconspicuously, however, as the Raiders had to burn both of their remaining timeouts after Smith scrambled twice. On third down, he hit Moore on a crossing route to the 10. A spike and two incompletions later, Stevens came on to make his second game-winning field goal in as many home games against the Panthers.

The Panthers fought until their last breath and had eight seconds to engineer a miracle. On the game’s last play, Lester scrambled, pirouetted, and otherwise avoided four Raider defenders four different times, then heaved the ball into the end zone, where Ke’mon Bailey intercepted it and give the Raiders the dramatic win.

The Panthers built their lead thanks to early Raider turnovers. The Raiders’ first two possessions ended with interceptions, both of which eventually led to Panther touchdowns. It was 22-0 before the Raiders held on to the ball long enough to get in the end zone, and a couple of running plays inside the Panthers’ five at the end of the first half failed to gain yardage, much less points, and the clock ran out with the Panthers leading 29-6.

The 23-point comeback is the largest deficit overcome in Raiders franchise history. Smith rebounded in the second half to complete 10 of his first 11 passes and finish with 253 yards and six touchdowns. Herb Jones went over 100 yards for the second time this year, netting 132 yards and three scores on 11 catches.

The Raiders move into a first place tie with idle Alabama. Following a week off next week, they will travel to Lake Charles, LA to take on the Louisiana Swashbucklers. They’ll 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.

 

BOX SCORE FOLLOWS

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

—————– — — — — —–

Albany Panthers….. 15 14 14 6 – 49 Record: (3-3)

Richmond Raiders…. 0 6 21 24 – 51 Record: (5-2)

Scoring Summary:

1st 11:12 ALB – Aaron Wheeler 4 yd pass from Cecil Lester (Merf Trout kick failed), 6-0 4:31, ALB 6 – RIC 0

10:29 ALB – Merf Trout rouge, , ALB 7 – RIC 0

02:39 ALB – Derrick Wimbush 6 yd pass from Cecil Lester (Merf Trout kick), 7-0 5:07, ALB 14 – RIC 0

01:55 ALB – Merf Trout rouge, , ALB 15 – RIC 0

2nd 10:01 ALB – Johnny Lester 14 yd pass from Cecil Lester (Merf Trout kick), 6-40 4:04, ALB 22 – RIC 0

03:47 RIC – Herb Jones 7 yd pass from Warren Smith (T.C. Stevens kick failed), 7-32 5:22, ALB 22 – RIC 6

00:35 ALB – John Harris 29 yd pass from Cecil Lester (Merf Trout kick), 5-40 2:26, ALB 29 – RIC 6

3rd 14:04 RIC – Herb Jones 27 yd pass from Warren Smith (T.C. Stevens kick), 2-40 0:56, ALB 29 – RIC 13

10:53 ALB – Johnny Lester 20 yd pass from Cecil Lester (Merf Trout kick), 3-40 2:27, ALB 36 – RIC 13

08:59 RIC – Jason Lovett 8 yd pass from Warren Smith (T.C. Stevens kick), 3-40 1:43, ALB 36 – RIC 20

01:12 ALB – Cecil Lester 1 yd run (Merf Trout kick), 8-40 7:08, ALB 43 – RIC 20

00:34 RIC – J. John-Pierre 52 yd kickoff return (T.C. Stevens kick), , ALB 43 – RIC 27

4th 14:26 RIC – Brandon Grier 11 yd pass from Warren Smith (T.C. Stevens kick), 1-11 0:25, ALB 43 – RIC 34

07:37 RIC – Hakeem Moore 17 yd pass from Warren Smith (T.C. Stevens kick), 3-36 1:33, ALB 43 – RIC 41

04:32 RIC – Herb Jones 18 yd pass from Warren Smith (T.C. Stevens kick), 3-37 2:14, ALB 43 – RIC 48

01:10 ALB – Antwontis Cutts 20 yd pass from Cecil Lester (Cecil Lester pass intcpt), 5-40 3:02, ALB 49 – RIC 48

00:07 RIC – T.C. Stevens 25 yd field goal, 7-32 0:50, ALB 49 – RIC 51

ALB RIC

FIRST DOWNS………………. 23 19

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)………… 6-10 5-33

PASSING YDS (NET)…………. 298 252

Passes Att-Comp-Int……….. 43-27-1 34-19-2

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS….. 49-308 40-285

Fumble Returns-Yards………. 0-0 0-0

Kickoff Returns-Yards……… 1-19 4-116

Interception Returns-Yards…. 2-15 1-0

Fumbles-Lost……………… 1-1 0-0

Penalties-Yards…………… 9-65 7-51

Possession Time…………… 36:52 24:35

Third-Down Conversions…….. 4 of 7 2 of 4

Fourth-Down Conversions……. 2 of 3 0 of 0

Red-Zone Scores-Chances……. 3-3 2-3

Sacks By: Number-Yards…….. 1-1 0-0

RUSHING: Albany Panthers-Derrick Wimbush 4-7; Johnny Lester 1-2; Cecil Lester 1-1. Richmond Raiders-Warren Smith 3-27; Rodney Sledge 2-6.

PASSING: Albany Panthers-Cecil Lester 27-43-1-298. Richmond Raiders-Warren Smith 19-34-2-253; TEAM 0-0-0-minus 1.

RECEIVING: Albany Panthers-Johnny Lester 11-110; Antwontis Cutts 9-117; John Harris 5-61; Derrick Wimbush 1-6; Aaron Wheeler 1-4. Richmond Raiders-Herb Jones 11-131; Hakeem Moore 5-93; Jason Lovett 2-18; Brandon Grier 1-11.

INTERCEPTIONS: Albany Panthers-Torez Jones 1-15; Damian Daniels 1-0. Richmond Raiders-Ke’Mon Bailey 1-0.

FUMBLES: Albany Panthers-Antwontis Cutts 1-1. Richmond Raiders-None.

Stadium: Richmond Coliseum Attendance: 3418

Kickoff time: 7:00p End of Game: 9:48 Total elapsed time: 2:48

Officials: Referee: Tracy Jones; Umpire: Mark Wilson; Linesman: Craig Burd; Line judge: Henry Jackson; Back judge: Thad. Foster; Scorer: T.Sparrow; Albany Panthers vs Richmond Raiders (May 04, 2013 at Richmond, VA)

SACKS (UA-A): Albany Panthers-David Rybinski 1-0. Richmond Raiders-None.

TACKLES (UA-A): Albany Panthers-Stoney Woodson 6-2; Torez Jones 4-5; Corey Rue 2-4; D. Thomas 1-1; David Rybinski 1-1; Tito Hannah 1-0; Larry Edwards 0-1. Richmond Raiders-RoShawn Marshal 10-2; Ke’Mon Bailey 5-0; Antwun Williams 3-1; Davon Morgan 1-2; Preston Hines 1-1; Brandon Sutton 1-1; Derek Stoudt 1-0; Raibonne Charle 1-0; James Carter 0-1.

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