• Follow the ROughRiders
gameday banner

Roughriders Fall Short in American Arenal League Title Game

Trailing at halftime on Saturday night, the Atlanta Havoc put up 32 unanswered points, thanks in part to five second-half interceptions that proved costly to the Richmond Roughriders as they fell 58-50 in the American Arena League championship game.


The Roughriders, who won the Arena Pro Football League title last June at the Coliseum, went into the half with a 43-26 lead. This was only the second time in franchise history the Roughriders loss. They finished the season with an 11-2 record, the same as the Havoc.

Richmond was set to have one final possession, but the Roughriders were penalized for an illegal defense on a play where Atlanta took an intentional safety to run additional clock. The Havoc got the ball back and were able to run out the clock and claim the title.

Atlanta coach Boo Mitchell called his team's win breathtaking. The Havoc went through a lot during the season, he said, including a change in their ownership. Mitchell said that a lot of guys had opportunities to leave, but they didn't. They stayed to accomplish what they did Saturday.

"So to see it all come to fruition, it's overwhelming, it just really is," Mitchell said. "Just emotionally, it's overwhelming."

Early on, it was a 14-14 game after Havoc quarterback Lee Chapple found Alex Coleman for a 30-yard touchdown with 8:47 to play in the opening quarter.

Richmond responded on its next possession when quarterback Robert Kent connected with a leaping D’Mauri Jones in the back of the end zone for a 2-yard score. The Roughriders completed their 2-point conversion try and led 22-14 with 4:25 left in the first quarter.

After that, it looked as if an interception by Roughriders defender Mike Carey could've a game-defining play. The Roughriders and Havoc had gone tit for tat up until that point, but that Carey interception, and the subsequent Richmond score, allowed the Roughriders to create a little distance between them and the Havoc.

Kent found Jones for a 5-yard touchdown following the interception, and Richmond carried a 29-14 lead with 11:32 left in the first half. Atlanta wouldn’t get closer than nine the rest of the half.

"Just playing with energy, trying to play Roughrider football," Richmond coach Mook Zimmerman said of his team's first half. 

In the locker room at halftime, Chapple slipped, fell and hit his head. He was examined, and it was determined that it was possible he had a concussion. So the Havoc turned to Darren Daniel at quarterback.

In his halftime remarks, Mitchell told his team not to quit. 

"I said, 'Forty-three points in the first half, are you kidding me? And we got one of the best defenses in the league. Stop whining, stop complaining, just got out there and play football,' " Mitchell said. "I said, 'We have not played our best game of football yet. Just go play football.'

"And that's what we did the second half."

Daniel found Thyron Lewis Sr. for a 26-yard touchdown to open the second half and make it a 43-33 game, as the Havoc began closing in. 

Richmond sent former Virginia Tech standout Bryan Randall out at quarterback in the second half. Zimmerman said that Kent was dealing with a cramp. On the Roughriders' first possession of the half, Randall was picked off by Micheaux Robinson, who ran in for a score to cut the Richmond lead to three, 43-40, with 10:46 to play in the third quarter Randall was intercepted by Robinson again on the next Richmond possession. And the Havoc went on to score on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Daniel to Lewis to take its first lead, 47-43, with 6:07 left in the third quarter.The momentum had flipped completely. "I could see it in their eyes, I could see it in their demeanor," Robinson said. "Everything changed. The entire vibe in the arena changed. So that's kudos to our guys for stepping up and not giving up."The Roughriders re-inserted Kent at quarterback after that, but did not see a change in fortune. Kent was intercepted by Thyrell Lewis with 5:30 to play in the third quarter. Lewis intercepted Kent again early in the fourth quarter. And Kent was picked by Laroche Jackson a bit later, off a deflection. 

Meanwhile, Daniel ran it in from the 1-yard line early in the fourth quarter, as the Havoc took a 55-43 lead and never really looked back.

Richmond did add a 30-yard touchdown from Kent to Rashaad Carter with two minutes to play, to cut the Atlanta lead to 58-50. But it was too little too late.

"We been through so much together, man, it was destiny tonight," Robinson said. "We played for each other, and we got it done."

  • Scorestream

Roughriders Sign For...

Roughriders Sign Former Sooners 2 Time All American OL Duke Robinson for 2019 Season @ Wes...

American Arena Leagu...

The American Arena League is pleased to announce the creation of an AAL Northern Division which will...

Q&A With Roughriders...

Q: Tell everyone about yourself, and some of your greatest moments at WVU?A: Hello for the ones...

Roughriders Visit Th...

Roughriders Support ❤️ The St. John's Home For Children-------------------------------This past Thur...

Roughriders Return t...

The West Virginia Roughriders will return to the American Arena League for the 2019 season, the team...

Roughriders Sign Off...

The West Virginia Roughriders have signed 6' 4" 300 lb Offensive Lineman Israel Evans Jr. for t...

Roughriders Sign For...

The West Virginia Roughriders have signed 6'4" defensive lineman Larry Ford for the 2019 season, the...

Roughriders Re-Sign ...

West Virginia Roughriders Re-Sign Former West Virginia Mountaineers Defensive Back Ellis Lanks...

Roughriders Sign For...

The West Virginia Roughriders have signed 6" 4' defensive back Robert Sands for the 2019 season, the...

Roughriders Sign For...

The West Virginia Roughriders have signed quarterback Jarrett Brown for the 2019 season, the team an...

Roughriders Sign Fir...

The West Virginia Roughriders have signed defensive back Davon Dixon for the 2019 season, the team a...

Looking to Hire Dan...

The West Virginia Roughriders are looking to hire a Dance Team Coach to coach, choreograph, and mana...

Roughriders Sign Are...

The West Virginia Roughriders have signed wide receiver Larry Beavers for the 2019 season, the team ...

Roughriders make Whe...

WHEELING — When people asked owner Gregg Fornario why he decided to move his Roughriders franchise t...

West Virginia Roughr...

Wide Reciever Robert Meachem for 2019 Season The West Virginia Roughriders have re-signed 6' 2" 210...

West Virginia Roughr...

The West Virginia Roughriders have signed running back/wide receiver Noel Devine ...

The West Virginia Ro...

The West Virginia Roughriders are looking for motivated individuals to help them on game days and in...

Coach Zimmerman Retu...

In a statement made today by West Virginia Roughriders owner and General Manager Gregg Fornario, the...

Roughriders Relocate...

Today, Richmond Roughriders' owner Gregg Fornario announced that the team will be relocating to ...

Roughriders to Bring...

Football season will now be a little bit longer in the Ohio Valley.  In a statement made today...

Roughriders make mov...

In a statement made earlier today by Richmond Roughriders owner and General Manager Gregg Fornario, ...

AAL Announces All-St...

The American Arena League is pleased to announce the 2018 AAL All-Star Classic will be played on Aug...

Former Roughriders Q...

Nelson Named MVP of Arena Bowl 31Former Roughriders QB Arvell Nelson named MVP of Arena Bowl 31 as t...

Richie the Rider Win...

BIG Congratulations to Richie the Rider  ----------------------------- The Richmond Roughriders...

Roughriders Dance Te...

Richmond Roughriders Dance Team Awarded "Dance Team of the Year Award" Two Years in a Row-----------...

Roughriders Defensiv...

Richmond Roughriders defensive lineman Keontae Hollis earns his second Defensive Player of the Year ...

AAL Names 9 Roughrid...

The players for the American Arena League All-League selections have officially been decided. In add...

Roughriders Fall Sho...

Trailing at halftime on Saturday night, the Atlanta Havoc put up 32 unanswered points, thanks in par...

Tryouts announced fo...

The West Virginia Roughriders announce first set of tryouts for December 8th.  Don't miss out o...

Game Videos & More

  • Highlight Video of 12/8/18 Tryouts!
  • West Virginia Roughriders Press Conference @ WesBanco Arena (10.25.18)
  • iHearts Mix 97.3 Speaks w/ Roughriders Front Office About Move to WVA
  • New WV Roughriders WR Larry Beavers Returns Kickoff to the house against Patriots (MUST WATCH)
  • WTRF News Channel 7 Wraps Up the Roughriders Press Conference
  • West Virginia Roughriders Visit The Watchdog Network
  • Officials Expect Economic Growth w/ Arrival of Roughriders
  • WTRF Cover West Virginia Roughriders Tryouts @ West Liberty University
  • West Virginia Roughriders Looking to Hire both off the field, and on
  • 1170 WWVA Talks Football w/ Roughriders GM Gregg Fornario
  • Arena Football Returns to Wheeling's WesBanco Arena
  • Atlanta Havoc vs Richmond Roughriders 2018 AAL Championship Game
  • Episode #7 (Championship Edition)
  • Roughriders Aim for 2nd Straight Arena Football Title
  • Carolina Energy Vs Richmond RoughRiders
  • Roughriders Owner/GM Talks Playoffs w/ Jeff Katz Show 6.11.18
  • ABC 8News - WRIC's
  • Episode #6 Playoff Edition: Richmond Roughriders Insider Report w/ Mel Gholson
  • Richmond Roughriders Playoff Bound
  • High Country  Grizzlies Vs Richmond Roughriders
  • New Jersey Flight Vs Richmond Roughriders
  • Episode # 5 Richmond Roughriders Insider Report w/ Host Mel Gholson
  • Triangle Torch Vs Richmond RoughRiders
  • Richmond Roughriders
4nario sports