Raiders Topple Revolution in Playoffs Opener
RICHMOND, VA: The Richmond Revolution had as good a regular season as it could expect, winning 13 of 14 games in its inaugural season in the Indoor Football League.
Richmond had its sights set on a championship to follow up that season, but in the one-and-done format of a playoff system, there's no room for error. Unfortunately, Richmond was not at its sharpest in the first round and the Revolution fell 26-24 to the Rochester Raiders before 3,137 at the Arthur Ashe Athletic Center.
Rochester was responsible for both of the Revolution's defeats. Richmond won 10 straight games to close the regular season, including three over Rochester. But the Raiders earned the playoff spoils by holding the Revolution to more than 23 points below their season average.
The Raiders, who move on to the quarterfinals with a 10-5 record, scored only two touchdowns. They got four field goals from Adam Lanctot.
Richmond scored three touchdowns in the game's first 23 minutes but only put up three points thereafter.
"We went out and played 15 times," said Steve Criswell, the Revolution's head coach and 2010 IFL coach of the year. "We won 13 of them. That's pretty daggone good for a brand-new team.
"But (Rochester) did a nice job tonight and we didn't quite get it done. I'm still proud of our guys and the way they carried themselves all season. Our players were great, in victory and defeat. Just a good group of guys."
Revolution quarterback Bryan Randall, voted the IFL Most Valuable Player in online balloting among fans nationwide, found Damon "Redd" Thompson for a 45-yard touchdown on the game's second play. Later in the first quarter, Randall found Thompson again from four yard out.
With 7:42 to go before the half, Randall hooked up with Rodney Landers for a 14-yard score. Chris Segaar's third extra-point of the night put the Revolution ahead 21-10.
Rochester tacked on two field goals before the half ended and scored an early touchdown in the third quarter to take the lead. The Revolution got back on top with a 9-yard field goal from Segaar. The lead held until Lanctot hit a 25-yarder with 3:24 remaining.
Richmond moved down the field and positioned itself for a field goal try with less than a minute to play. But Rochester's Maurice Robinson got his hand on Segaar's field goal try from 33 yards out and the Raiders took over and ran out the clock.
Richmond had scored fewer than 50 points only twice in its final eight games and those were both 46-point efforts. The 24 points were the Revolution's second-lowest output of the season. It scored 23 in an early-season victory over Maryland.
"It was just one of those nights where things didn't work as well as they normally do," Randall said. "(Rochester) did a great job, my hat's off to them. Our defense did a great job, too. We just couldn't get the points when we needed them.
"It was still a great season. To go 13-1 is something special. We wanted the championship, too. It's just not to be. I'll still remember this as a great season. I had a whole lot of fun playing with a great group of guys."
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