Harrisburg Defense Sets Tone, Stops Comeback
The Harrisburg Stampede scored on offense, defense, and special teams in building a 20 point first half lead, and they forced four Raider turnovers on their way to a 48-27 win in Richmond Saturday night. Phil Konopka got his first start at quarterback, and threw interceptions on each of the first two possessions. One was returned for a touchdown by Jermaine Thaxton to start a 28-0 scoring run by the Stampede.
E.J. Nemeth threw the first of his two first half touchdowns late in the first quarter, and after the Raiders were backed up by two Amara Kamara sacks, Travis Proctor returned a blocked 63 yard field goal attempt for a touchdown. A Scooby Bryant fumble trying to gain extra yards after a reception led to Nemeth’s second touchdown, and the Raiders’ only touchdown of the first half came after a Preston Hines blocked field goal attempt set the team up at the Stampede one yard line.
The Raiders started strong in the second half, getting touchdowns and one of the defense’s six three and outs to get to within 11 points, 31-20. After overcoming a 17 point second half deficit in their win last week, any hopes of a repeat performance were dashed in the next few series. The Stampede put together a nine play touchdown drive, and after the Raiders fumbled a snap, got into the end zone again to go back up by 25. Bryant made a determined catch in the back of the end zone, refusing to let James Pitts knock the ball away, but it was too little, too late for the Raiders who were held under 30 points for the third time this season.
Kenny Jones ran for two touchdowns for Richmond. Gus Tyson had two sacks and Devin Jones had 1.5 for the league’s leading sack unit. But Konopka was brought down five times, including four by Amara Kamara, to prevent the Raiders from sustaining any offensive rhythm.
Herb Jones led the team with four receptions, 57 yards, and a touchdown. Chris Schubert returned to Richmond after spending the 2010 season and part of last year with the Raiders, and had two touchdowns for the visitors.
The Raiders drop to 1-3 on the season, while the Stampede improve to 2-2. The teams will meet twice more during the regular season. The Raiders have next week off, and will travel to Trenton to play the Freedom May 3 before another off week and the next home game May 17, also against the Freedom.
Tickets for the May 17 game and the rest of the season are available starting at $7 on the Raiders’ website, www.RichmondRaidersProFootball.com, or by calling 1-855-GO-RAIDERS or 804-780-0430. Additionally, fans can contact the Richmond Coliseum box office or visit ticketmaster.com. A family four-pack is available for all remaining games, which includes tickets, hot dogs, popcorn, and soft drinks all for one low price.
For more information contact:
(804) 780-4970 x139