Richmond advances to PIFL title game
The Richmond Raiders (11-2) took the lead early and never relinquished it, but even so, the outcome of the semifinal PIFL playoff game against the Louisiana Swashbucklers (6-7) was not certain until the final Louisiana pass fell incomplete with no time left on the clock.
Richmond got off to a fast start, scoring twice before Louisiana put points on the board. The Raiders led 34-23 at the half.
Halfway through the fourth quarter, Richmond was ahead by 19 points, which appeared to be a comfortable lead. But Bucs QB Alvin Bartie tossed a three-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Rideaux with 3:09 to play. That brought the score to Raiders 56, Bucs 43.
The ensuing onside kick failed. Richmond managed to burn up more than two minutes of the game clock, but Louisiana got the ball back with 44 seconds left, following a failed field goal attempt. With first and ten on his own five yard line, Bucs QB Alvin Bartie tossed another touchdown pass, this time a whopping 45 yards, to Jordan Rideaux. That made the score 56 to 50. A Bucs’ onside kick failed again, but the Raiders were unable to make a first down, and Louisiana got the ball back with just over than 20 seconds to go. A touchdown and an extra point were all that was needed to win.
A series of passing attempts by Louisiana followed. What appeared to be the final pass of the game, as time ran out, was intercepted and taken back the length of the field by Raiders DB Maurice Thorne. But the play was called back on a penalty, and Louisiana had one last chance at a win with the clock reading 0:00. That pass fell incomplete in the end zone.
The offensive standout of the game was Richmond QB Antwon Young who passed for five touchdowns and ran for three. Richmond DB RoShawn Marshall was the defensive standout with six unassisted tackles and two assists.
Richmond will travel to Albany, Georgia, on Saturday to take on the top seed Albany Panthers (11-2) in the Professional Indoor Football League Championship Final.