March 27, 2013 - Ultimate Indoor Football League (UIFL) - Lakeland Raiders
LAKELAND, FL- The Raiders are coming off of a tough loss to the Florida Tarpons but returning home to play in front of the home crowd. The final score of the game, 41-36, does not amount to the excitement of the game. The Raiders fought hard on the road but still were not able to get over the challenge of defeating the Tarpons. The Raiders trailed at halftime 28 to 16 but came out strong in the second half. A touchdown run from Bj Hall and later a touchdown pass to Roderick Jefferson and Jason Harmon had the Raiders trailing by 5 points with under one minute left in the game. Sam Smith had a big interception which gave the Raiders the ball back with 44 seconds left in the game. A false start started the drive and the drive ended with a scrambling Bj Hall interception to end the game for the Raiders. "It was a tough loss and hard fought but with the way we played and the mental mistakes we had, we still had a chance to win the game and we know we are a better team that played that night" said Coach Mink. That loss was the first for the 2013 season for the Raiders but it does not put them out of contention of the playoffs or even hosting the championship game. The Raiders just have to beat the Tarpons this weekend and continue to win the rest of their games.
The Raiders are also pleased to have 3-time pro bowl Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson doing the coin toss for the rematch! A product from the University Northern Colorado, Vincent (V.J.) was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 2nd round in the 2005 NFL Draft. Standing at 6'5 and weighing 240lbs, Vincent was a true specimen when entering the NFL and turn heads when he clocked a 4.46 40 yard dash for scouts. With his speed, size and strength, he has been one of the best receivers in the NFL since entering. Vincent then signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012. He was very impressive in his first season with the Buccaneers and set multiple Buccaneer records, with the longest reception in Tampa Bay history (95 yards) and the most receiving yards in a single game (216 yards). Vincent will also be giving thanks to all Raiders and Buccaneers fans at the Raiders game. He will be doing an autograph and meet and greet session for all fans from 6:15pm to 7:00pm ONLY. He will then be doing the coin toss and enjoying the Raiders game with his family and friends. The doors for the arena open at 6:00pm, get their early if you would like to have your picture taken with him or an autograph. "I am very grateful VJ is taking the time out of his busy schedule to come do the coin toss and watch our game. We definitely plan on putting on a great show for him, his family and friends" commented General Manager Feddy Azofeifa.
The Raiders kick-off is at 7:30pm on Saturday March 30th against the Florida Tarpons. Tickets are on sale though the Lakeland Center Box office. Group tickets and box seats are also available by calling 1-855-Raider1.