Raiders hit the road for 5th season debut in Trenton
The Richmond Raiders will start their fifth season of professional indoor football this Sunday, March 30, when they travel to Trenton, NJ to take on the expansion Trenton Freedom. Coming off back-to-back berths in the PIFL Championship Game, the Raiders will play their first of three contests against the division rival Freedom. Following a spirited and productive training camp, the Raiders have solidified several positions with returning veterans and promising rookies.
Following a training camp that Raiders head coach James Fuller called “productive” and which let the team “figure a lot of things out”, the Raiders are eager to line up against the Freedom. For the second consecutive season, the Raiders’ first snap of the year will also be the starting quarterback’s first live snap. In training camp, veteran Malik White showed command of the offense from his backup role last season. He was pushed by rookie Steffen Colon, and as of press time Fuller had not named a starter. Whichever man gets the call under center, he will have no shortage of talented, productive receivers to throw to. Hakeem Moore and Herb Jones both broke the previous team records for receptions and yards last season. Antwun Williams and Gerron Bryant provide additional veteran depth, size, and speed. Up front, the Raiders have assembled formidable lines on both sides of the ball. Offensively, two time All-PIFL lineman Kynneth Moses returns, and 2012 All-PIFL center Roman Pritt steps in for the retired Derek Stoudt. On defense, veteran James Carter will set the tone. Preston Hines will add depth when not patrolling the linebacker position. Raibonne Charles also returns at linebacker, and Maurice Thorne, Ke’Mon Bailey, Kevin Allen and Larry Williams will anchor the defensive secondary with Torez Jones and Malik Cormartie bringing speed and coverage skills in their rookie seasons.
Though the Freedom are a new opponent in the PIFL, at least one familiar face will be on the other side of the ball. Quarterback Warren Smith, who set Raider single season records for passing attempts, completions, and yards in leading the team to the playoffs and a championship appearance, signed with the Freedom in the offseason. Having coached Smith last year in his rookie campaign, Raiders head coach James Fuller is familiar with his strengths and weaknesses. “It’s a double edged sword,” Fuller admitted. “I know what Warren does well and what he doesn’t do as well. But we’re not playing Warren, we’re playing Trenton and we have to try to negate his positives and force him into situations where he can do negative things.”
Defensively, the Freedom sport another familiar face. Defensive back John Kennedy played for Lehigh Valley last season. Kennedy led the SteelHawks in tackles, including a season high five against the Raiders on April 27, and interceptions, tacking one on in the playoffs against the Raiders as well.
2014 single game 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. Tickets start at $7, and lower level tickets are on a Buy 2, Get 1 Free special for Opening Night. 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.
For more information contact:
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