RICHMOND RAIDERS LOOK TO BOUNCE BACK
Team seeks first win of 2013 as Knoxville Nighthawks come to town
The Richmond Raiders (0-1) will aim to recover from a big loss to the Alabama Hammers as they host the Knoxville Nighthawks (0-2) on Youth Achievement Night sponsored by Frontier Health. Youth-oriented pregame and halftime entertainment will be featured, including chances for kids to compete in contests on the field. Meanwhile, Knoxville will be trying to earn its first win over the Raiders in a series that dates back to last year, when the teams played three times.The 2012 league MVP, Antwon Young, has returned to the Raiders to provide depth atquarterback. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 pm this Saturday, March 23, at the Richmond Coliseum.
Last week the Raiders dropped a 65-23 decision to the Alabama Hammers. The Hammers scored the final 42 points of the game, including a 35-0 run in the second half that saw Raiders quarterback Warren Smith get picked off four times. “When you’re playing your first indoor game, things happen a little quicker than you think,” Raiders head coach James Fuller said after the game. “It’s tough for a quarterback to get comfortable in the pocket, and it was no different with Warren [Saturday] evening.”
The Raiders rallied to tie the game at 23 in the first half, thanks to two rushing touchdowns (by Smith and Mike Jones) and a Smith to Herb Jones pass, as well as a career high three unos from kicker T.C. Stevens. But Alabama’s relentless defensive pressure was too much for Smith and the Raiders’ offensive line to overcome, as the Hammers held the Raiders to just 51 second half yards.
Last year’s quarterback and league MVP, Antwon Young, has returned to Richmond after pursuing opportunities in the Arena Football League. Young has been participating in Raiders’ practice this week, getting back up to speed with the offensive playbook and terminology. Fuller could not comment on whether Young would start Saturday, but the additional depth he provides at quarterback is a welcome addition to the team. The Nighthawks will be playing their third straight road game to open the season. Against the Lehigh Valley SteelHawks last week, Knoxville rallied from a 28-7 deficit to pull within four points with 12:08 left in the game, but Lehigh Valley pulled away in the final minutes. Fuller acknowledged that the Nighthawks will be a hungry team when they step on to the Richmond Coliseum turf Saturday night. “They’re starting to roll. They scored some points late against Lehigh Valley,” he said. “We’ve been pretty successful against them and I’m hoping we can continue that.”
Saturday’s matchup will be on Youth Achievement Night, when the Raiders will salute the accomplishments of youth leagues and other organizations. The game is sponsored by Frontier Health, a patient experience company bringing a more connected patient and staff experience to hospitals and clinics nationwide. Youth kicking, martial arts, and football competitions will take place at halftime. Pregame entertainment in the Coliseum Club, on the concourse, and onthe field will start at 5:30, and fans will have the chance to enter on-field contests to win Raiders prizes!
Tickets 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.