Maniacs Keep it Close but Raiders, Calls Too Much To Handle
Following the return of wide receiver De'Yon Williams to go along with the signing and debut of quarterback Brian Harris last week against the Richmond Revolution, the tide seemed to be turning for the Maniacs as the passing game and team morale improved.
The team was set for a strong performance against the Rochester Raiders when Harris and Williams connected for two 32-yard touchdowns in the first quarter, the first on the team's second offensive play of the game and the second immediately following a Rod Bryant interception midway through the period.
Those two touchdowns marked six in the past two weeks for Williams while Bryant was also on the receiving end of three Harris touchdown passes against the Raiders, bringing his total to four for the last two games.
In another game littered with penalties, the Maniacs went into halftime down 39-31 to the Raiders. The second half turned into a defensive matchup, with both teams only combining for 15 points.
"I think that we did a tremendous job in the second half of being more disciplined as a team. [In] the first half, we kind of let our emotions get the best of us and we had to make some adjustments at halftime," Harris said.
While the Maniacs did not allow a score in the third quarter, they unfortunately gave up the deciding touchdown to Rochester halfway through the fourth quarter. Giving up that score was not indicative of how the Maniacs defense played in the second half, Harris says.
"I definitely am very proud of the defense and the way that they stepped up and helped us as on offense. As an offense, we have to do our job of taking advantage of unexpected opportunities," Harris added.
With six seconds remaining in the game, Harris avoided the Raiders rush and threw up a prayer in the end zone with Williams appearing to come down with possession of the ball and two feet on the ground prior to the ball being knocked out by a Raider defender. However, the play was ruled incomplete by the referees, ending any hope of the Maniacs tying the game.
Now at 0-7 following another difficult and heartbreaking loss, the Maniacs must win their final seven games in order to keep any playoff chances alive.
The Maniacs next game is Saturday, May 8th at home against the Richmond Revolution at 7:05 PM.
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