By: Eric Tabor
Albany Panthers Indoor Football
Media Relations Director
It’s a battle of first place teams as the Albany Panthers (6-0) take on the Richmond Raiders (4-2) this Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Albany Civic Center. The Panthers will look to improve on offense as they bounce back from a hard fought victory, 43-40, over the Fayetteville Force last Saturday, April 23.
The Raiders are coming off of a tough loss against the Erie Explosion, 74-54, last Saturday, April 23 at the Tullio Arena in Erie. Richmond is led by quarterback Mike Potts, who is one of the better quarterbacks in the league. In the game against the Explosion, he was 19-of-50 for 226 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. Potts may be one of the top level quarterbacks in the SIFL, but he will be going up against one of the best defenses in the league.
The Panther defense should be able to slow Potts down, as they rank second in the league in pass defense (161.8) and fifth in the league in defensive passer efficiency (96.6). The defense is not only good at protecting the pass, but they also rank first in the league in total defense (172.2) and second in scoring defense (32.8).
The lockdown is led by defensive back LeVance “The Showstopper” Richmond who is ranked sixth in the league for passes defended at 9 (7 breakups and two interceptions). Defensive lineman Tito Hannah is also a major contributor, as he totaled six tackles (five unassisted, two assisted) and two sacks in the game last week.
The Panthers are also very good against the run, as they rank second in the league (13.4). Albany must keep an eye on running back Brandon Isaiah who is fourth in the league for rushing the ball at 20.7 yards per game.
If the Panthers can force the Raiders into a one dimensional offense, they could bait Potts into making mistakes. The Cats are +2 in turnover margin in their six wins this season.
The Panther offense led by quarterback Cecil Lester who, should be able to continue the teams winning ways. Richmond’s major weakness is against the pass, as they rank ninth in allowing 200 yards per game. Lester is ranked eighth in the league for passer efficiency (102).
On the year Cecil, is 104-of-181 for 1131 yards and 23 touchdowns. The majority of these touchdown passes have gone to wide receiver Antwontis Cutts, who is ranked fifth in the league in reception yards at 96 yards per game. Cutts has caught 39 passes for 480 yards and eight touchdowns. Kickoff begins on Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 pm eastern time. The radio broadcast will be on 98.1 KISS FM WMRZ as well as www.KISSAlbany.com.