Victory begins first winning streak of season
RICHMOND, Va. (May 10, 2015) –The Richmond Raiders (4-4) reached the .500 mark with a win over the Erie Explosion (1-5) on Sunday afternoon in Erie. This was the first time the two teams had met as this is Erie’s first season in the PIFL. Richmond was looking to continue their hot streak from last weekend after an 87-58 victory over Alabama, which saw QB Jon Bane throw for a single-game league record ten touchdowns.
As seems to be a common theme for the Raiders this season, they allowed the game to remain close in the first quarter with both teams trading scores. Erie even led at the end of the first, 14-13. But, it would be a dominant second and third quarter that allowed the Raiders to pull away and secure the victory. The Raiders were able to capitalize on Explosion miscues in the ensuing quarters, as DB Torez Jones caught two interceptions and WR Gerron Bryant returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Extra points would also play a role in the game, as Richmond’s K T.C. Stevens nailed nine of 10 PATs, while Erie only scored off of three of their seven PATs. Richmond was able to hold Erie to just six points in the third quarter and only 14 in the second half in the win.
Two quarterbacks, Jonathan Bane and Phil Konopka, would share the workload for the Raiders, as Bane left the game early with an injury. Konopka would go on to complete 10 of 18 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. He would also run in on his own for another. Bane did eventually return to the game and completed 13 of 18 passes for 162 yards and four touchdowns.Jones ran one of his two interceptions back for a touchdown and two of Bryant’s three scores came from his kickoff return for a touchdown and rushing touchdown to round out the scoring for the Raiders.WR Robert Holland led the Raiders receiving corp with eight catches for 131 yards, followed by Bryant with eight catches for 106 yards.
For Erie, QB Jeff Sinclair saw a majority of the snaps on the day, completing 12 of 27 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns. However, Sinclair would leave the game with an injury, bringing in QB Mason Espinosa to finish out the game. Espinosa connected with his targets on sixof nine passes for 39 yards and two touchdowns. The Explosion, who have one win to their record this season, showed flashes of brilliance, but it would be consistency that they struggled with throughout the game. They next face the Trenton Freedom on Saturday.
The Raiders have a bye next week. The team will return to action at home on May 23 when theyface the Trenton Freedom for McDonald’s Night–Lovin’ RVA. Ticketsfor all remaining home games start as low as $7 and are available 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.