Matt Weinstein • Staff writer • June 6, 2010
For the first time in the history of indoor football, a pre-game coin toss carried some meaning.
Judging the 10-15 mile-per-hour winds wasn't the only thing the Rochester Raiders had to contend with as they rallied late to edge the Chicago Slaughter 43-36 on a cool Saturday night at a "renovated" Marina Auto Stadium.
"The last time I played an outdoor game was back in college so it definitely stirred up some good memories," said Raiders wide receiver Kevin Concepcion, who caught eight passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns.
A franchise-record crowd of 6,320 was present to witness the first outdoor "indoor" game.
"It was a fantastic night for football and I was really surprised by all the fans that came out to support us," said wide receiver Willy Givens, who caught five passes for 83 yards and a score. "The fans made it a night I'll never forget."
The 50-yard football field took up half of the soccer pitch and was set up on the scoreboard side of the stadium. The sideline boards were placed 28 yards apart with fresh chalk lines indicating every 5-yard interval. The field of play was about 30 yards away from the stands on both sides of the stadium.
The Raiders (9-4) clinched an at-large bid to the Indoor Football League playoffs with the win.
"There was a lot of energy out there," said defensive back Raji El-Amin, who had an interception and helped keep the Slaughter out of the end zone in the final minute of the game. "We did not want to get caught up in the hype surrounding this game because making the playoffs is the main goal."
The Raiders trailed for most of the game but eventually took a 37-33 lead on a 38-yard TD pass from quarterback Perry Patterson to Concepcion with 6:08 remaining. The Slaughter cut the lead to a point on a field goal but Rochester's Jamil Porter scored on a 4-yard TD run to give Rochester a 43-36 lead in the final minute.
"We made a lot of little mistakes on offense in the first half but we snapped out of it and got rolling late," Concepcion said. "Perry is a great quarterback and when we have all facets of the game working like we did in the fourth quarter we are a tough team to beat."
Gotcha, thanks. Ever consider using punctuation? Might make you seem a tad more professional.
I will then prove that the term "it rains on both sides of the field" is a myth.