RICHMOND RAIDERS TO KICK OFF 2013 SEASON

 

RICHMOND RAIDERS TO KICK OFF 2013 SEASON
Raiders welcome Alabama Hammers to the Richmond Coliseum for
Opening Night

 

The Richmond Raiders will start their fourth season of professional indoor football this Saturday,
March 16, when they host the Alabama Hammers. Fans will get their first look at the Raiders
since the 2012 PIFL Championship Game, and the team taking the field Saturday will feature
several returning veterans from 2012’s 11-3 team, along with some heralded indoor rookies.
The Raiders will need to get up to game speed quickly against an Alabama team that already
has a game under its belt.

One of the most important factors in the Raiders’ success last year was the play of league MVP,
quarterback Antwon Young. Young was invited to Iowa Barnstormers’ training camp in the
Arena Football League, and with the departure of last year’s backup QB James Steadman, who
signed with the rival Albany Panthers over the offseason, the QB position was wide open during
training camp. After a heated competition, head coach James Fuller named Warren Smith his
opening night starter. Smith will take his first official snap in indoor football Saturday, but is no
stranger to the 50-yard game. Smith caught the eye of Raider head coach James Fuller after
working out for the Utah Blaze of the AFL. “We are very pleased to have Warren,” Fuller said.
“He has played a number of snaps on a high level overseas and in college, and has a high
football IQ which should help him pick up the game quickly.” Smith led the Maine Black Bears
to the NCAA national quarterfinals in 2011 while setting a single-season school record with
3,122 passing yards. He spent a season in the German football league, where he threw for 28
touchdowns and only eight interceptions in 14 games. He also rushed for 11 touchdowns and
led his team to the league semifinals. Malik White will back up Smith.

Smith will be surrounded by veterans who will need no introduction to Raider fans. Antwun
Williams, Herb Jones, Hakeem Moore, and Jason Lovett all return from a 2012 receiving corps
that featured a blend of size and speed and combined for over 2300 receiving yards and 49
touchdowns. Additionally, the 2012 offensive line of Kynneth Moses, Derek Stoudt, and
Brandon Grier returns intact. Fullback Anthony Silvers also moved on to participate in Iowa
training camp, but indoor veteran Rodney Sledge figures to step in without missing a beat.

Defensively, the Raiders experienced some turnover on the line with second-team All PIFL end
Lawrence Lewis announcing his retirement. Brandon Sutton and James Carter return to the
rotation, and newcomer Chris Peoples will be in the mix as well. Preston Hines will provide
versatility as he can line up at linebacker or on the line, as can newcomer (and college
teammate of Warren Smith) Raibonne Charles. The defensive backfield returns largely intact,
with Maurice Thorne, Ke’mon Bailey, and RoShawn Marshall bringing a combined 10
interceptions from 2012. They will be joined by Davon Morgan, a four year starter at Virginia
Tech. He was named second team All-ACC as a senior after notching five interceptions and
finishing second on the team in tackles and was signed by the New York Jets. Kevin Allen and
Calvin Brown will provide depth at cornerback.

The Hammers come in at 1-0 after a last-second win over the Lehigh Valley SteelHawks last
week. Quarterback Kevin Eakin and receivers Jeremy Grier and Charles McClain combined to
execute a 25-yard hook and lateral on the game’s final play to give Alabama a 29-28 win. The
Raiders, however, are a perfect 4-0 against the Hammers including a sweep of the teams’ three
meetings in 2012. In two games in Richmond, the Raiders have outscored the Hammers 116-
73.

Saturday’s matchup will be on Community Heroes Night, when the Raiders will honor the
military, police, fire, and first responders. The game is sponsored by Genworth and Hunton &
Williams, and the Air Force will provide giveaways to the first 1,000 fans through the doors.

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.

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