|By: Matthew Hester|
Professional Indoor Football League
KNOXVILLE, TN (June 26, 2012) – Thanks to their Conference Semi-Final victories over the Columbus Lions and Louisiana Swashbucklers respectively, the Albany Panthers and Richmond Raiders will reunite this Saturday June 30th at 7:30 PM for the inaugural PIFL Championship Game.
Taking place at the James H. Gray Albany Civic Center in Albany, GA, the Panthers and Raiders will duel it out with the winner earning bragging rights as well as the first team to take home the PIFL Championship Cup.
Behind the stellar play of back-up QB Darnell Kennedy, who was subbing for the injured Cecil Lester, the Panthers defeated their in-state rivals 60-36 clinching their second consecutive championship appearance in as many seasons. Making just his third start of the season, Kennedy completed 12 of 20 passes for 169 yards and six TD’s.
Richmond earned a berth in Saturday’s championship after holding off the Louisiana Swashbucklers 56-50 on Monday night. Down by as much as 16, the Swashbucklers were within one-play (an untimed down) of earning a berth in an unprecedented sixth championship game. Raiders QB and All-PIFL 1st teamer Antwon Young continued his MVP-caliber type season combining to score eight TD’s (five passing, three rushing) leading Richmond to their first championship appearance.
The two clubs spilt their two previous meetings with Richmond losing out in their lone visit to Albany 40-28 back in Week 2. In “One for the Ages” the pair would meet again on the season’s final day combining to score 133 points with the Raiders seizing the 67-66 win over the Panthers via a game-winning 27-yard field goal from T.C. Stevens as time expired.
In that June 16th meeting, without starter Cecil Lester, Albany was within grasp of giving Richmond their first home loss of the season but three costly turnovers including a 4th quarter interception by defensive lineman James Carter. Come this Saturday, Lester who is 10-0 as a starter is expected to be under center for the Division Champion Panthers.
For continued coverage from Saturday’s inaugural Professional Indoor Football League Championship, log on to www.proifl.com and to chat with other fans from all over the league visit the PIFL’s Facebook page.