Revolution Clinch Home Field Throughout Playoffs, Defeat Raiders
RICHMOND, VA: Richmond Revolution coach Steve Criswell says one reason his team has been successful in its inaugural season in the Indoor Football League is it has learned how to handle playing on the road. That skill won't be necessary in the IFL playoffs. The Revolution dropped the Rochester Raiders 46-33 tonight in front of 3,022 at the Arthur Ashe Center. It was Richmond's 10th straight victory and it enabled the Revolution to close the regular season with a 13-1 record. Most important, it assured Richmond it would be at home for every playoff contest it plays. Richmond will play its postseason games on Monday nights. The opener is set for June 28 at the Ashe Center against an opponent to be determined. "I don't mind playing on the road but I really like playing at home," Criswell said. "We have the best fan base of any I've seen this season and it will be great to be able to play in front of them again." Said defensive back Demarcus James, "Our fans are the best. We're glad to be at home."
The Revolution's offensive star was back Eugene Holloman, who rushed for 68 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries. Defensive back and return man Demarcus James, meanwhile, picked off his league-leading 10th pass of the game to set up a first-quarter touchdown. James, who was the 2009 IFL special teams player of the year, also returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the first half. The play was especially big because it thwarted any momentum Rochester had going into halftime. The Raiders scored with 39 seconds to play to get within seven points, but James took the ensuing kickoff to the house. It was James' only kick return of the night. "Teams have been doing a good job kicking away from me," James said. "I had to make sure I took advantage of that one and my teammates did a great job for me."
Quarterback Bryan Randall wasn't as much on center stage as he's been in recent weeks but he did nothing to hurt his prospects as the league's rookie of the year and Most Valuable Player. Randall threw for three touchdowns to push his IFL-high total to 58. Damon "Redd" Thompson caught two of the scoring passes and Aaron Alexander had the other. One of Thompson's TD receptions was an impressive diving catch from 30 yards out.
Holloman, who joined the team at midseason, doubled his rushing touchdown total for the season. He had a 15- and a 23-yard score in the first half and added a 13-yarder in the second half. "They were looking for the pass a lot, and that made it a little easier to run," Holloman said. "Plus, the offensive line did a great job, just a terrific job. I had room to run and I tried to take advantage."
As impressive as anything else the Revolution did was s the work the team's defense did on Rochester receiver Kevin Concepcion. With everything else the team did well, that could go unnoticed. But keeping Concepcion from doing damage was a big part of the victory. Criswell has said several times this season that the Raiders' combination of quarterback Perry Patterson and Concepcion is one of the best "pitch-catch" duos he's seen. The stats back him up. Concepcion came into the game with 62 receptions and 29 scoring catches. He had no catches in the first half and finished the night with only three and one touchdown. "I'm really proud of our coaching staff," Criswell said. "I thought they did an excellent job planning and calling on both sides of the ball. That's an awfully good football team we played, I mean really good. Beating them is not easy and our coaches really did well in getting these guys ready."
Rochester, which fell to 9-5, is the only team to defeat the Revolution this season but Richmond won the other three meetings. They could well meet again in the postseason. A total of 16 teams make the playoffs, so the eventual champion will have to win four games.
"I'm glad we'll be able to play here, in front of our fans. They're great," Holloman said. "We did the job in the regular season. Now it's time to get on to the second season."
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Indoor Football League Stories from June 13, 2010
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- Revolution Clinch Home Field Throughout Playoffs, Defeat Raiders - Richmond Revolution
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