(ST. CHARLES) The River City Raiders kept its home record unblemished with a 47-34 win over the Chicago Blitz Saturday night at Family Arena.
With the baker’s dozen victory, the Raiders improved its record within the American Indoor Football (AIF) standings to 4-1.
The duke marked the team’s uplift from a loss the week prior against AIF rival West Michigan.
“For us, it was just about refocusing and understanding the team concept,” said Raiders’ Offensive Coordinator John Noel in an online interview following the game. “Relying on each other, (this) really showed tonight in all facets of the game. We did what we really needed to do.”
Countering the high-scoring pace that often defines indoor football, the game was deadlocked 0-0 after the first quarter.
The Raiders grabbed a 7-0 lead at the 9:21 mark of the second frame as quarterback Tarean Austin connected with receiver DeAndre Jackson.
Chicago proceeded to collect a pair of touchdowns to finish the half, and subsequently, a lead. With James Walton’s scoring reception at the 4:54 mark followed by Keenan Miller’s end zone run in the half’s final minute, the Force sported a 14-7 advantage at intermission.
Chicago pushed its lead to 21-7 two minutes deep in the third quarter via quarterback Andre Locke’s keeper.
River City sliced the deficit with a pair of touchdowns, launched by a Chris Headd’s grab at the 10:15 mark, to narrow the deficit to two points, 21-19, with 4:25 left in the third. The two-point differential remained intact heading into the final stanza.
The Raiders flipped the script and grabbed its first lead of the game 26-21 with 14:10 remaining in the final stanza. River City’s defense then rose to the occasion and collected an end zone sack at the 13:20 mark and, with the two-point safety, extended its advantage to 28-21.
Chicago tied the game 28-28 with 6:55 left with Locke’s 11-yard quarterback keeper.
The Raiders posted a dozen points straight over the next six minutes and held a 40-28 lead with under a minute to play.
The Blitz made a late charge, narrowed the score to 40-34 with :26 left and attempted an onsides kick but the Raiders Travonti Johnson secured victory by returning the kick to the end zone for the clinching touchdown.
River City outscored the Force, 26-15, in the final frame and claimed the 47-34 win that netted the Raiders their fourth win of the season. Austin finished with four touchdowns for the evening while Headd collected a pair.
The Raiders return to home play at Family Arena on Friday, May 6 against Northern Kentucky. For more information, go to indoorraiders.com.
By trade, he is a six-time, regional Emmy Award-winning news videographer/editor for KTVI/KPLR-TV. By hobby, he is a writer for Arch City Media, dating back to February 2014. Emphasis is on featuring and promoting local women's sports, but will cover anything that is not reported by traditional media outlets. Also a contributor to local concert reviews.