An exciting game by two evenly matched teams kept a partisan crowd on the edges of their seats for most of Saturday evening at the Lake Charles Civic Center in Lake Charles Louisiana. Turnovers, as it turned out, tipped the balance in favor of Louisiana, causing the Richmond Raiders to lose by two points in this hard-fought Professional Indoor Football League contest.
Louisiana roared out of the blocks, putting 16 points on the board before Richmond was able to get its footing. But the Raiders bolted back, scoring 18 points to three for Louisiana to bring the score to 18-19 with less than a minute to go in the half. Louisiana kicker Blak Bercegeay then kicked a 21-yard field goal with a second left on the clock to make the score 18-22 as the teams headed for the locker rooms.
Richmond received to start the second half and drove down the field to take the lead for the first time, 25 to 22. From that point forward the game became a seesaw affair, making it appear that whichever side had possession last would win.
Then came a game-changing play.
Richmond, down two points, was driving for a score. It was first and goal on the Swashbucklers’ six-yard line. Raiders QB Antwon Young dropped back to pass, but had to scramble to avoid a sack. Young then threw off balance directly into the arms of linebacker Ellis Mead, who snagged the ball and zigzagged almost 50 yards to the Raiders one-yard line as the Swashbuckler fans went wild. One rushing play later Louisiana was up by eight.
Following the ensuing kickoff, Richmond drove for another score to climb back to within two points. But time was running out, and the Raiders tried an onside kick. The Swashbucklers recovered on the Richmond ten-yard line. Richmond’s defense put forth a valiant effort and held, giving the Raiders the ball back on downs with less than two minutes to go. All that was required to win the game was a field goal. But the Raiders fumbled and the Swashbucklers recovered. A few rushing plays later the game was over and Richmond had gone down in defeat 45 to 47.
Richmond will have a rematch with the Swashbucklers on May 5th at the Richmond Coliseum after a bye week, and at 4-2 remains in second place in the PIFL.