The California Raiders captured their fourth Championship in ten years Saturday night with a 24-14 victory over the Las Vegas Trojans. The Raiders started the opening drive with their prolific rushing attack led by running back Eric Marshall who had 15 carries for 105 yards and 1 touchdown. The Raider offense struggled the previous two weeks and had key injuries coming into the Championship game but still managed to put points on the board.
Former Utah State commit Quarterback Robert Fuller threw a 15 yard touchdown pass to Mikael Bowden to put the Raiders up 7-0. The Raider defense came into the game with high expectations and continued to create turnovers against the Trojans. Defensive back Lamar Jones picked off the Trojans quarterback to give the Raiders offense another opportunity to score.
The Raiders who are currently ranked #2 in the Western Rankings according to Amateur Football Power rankings continue to drive the ball down the field with a pass from Robert Fuller to veteran wide receiver Kiyron Brokendough which led to a touchdown, but the Raiders failed to convert the PAT.
The Trojans would not go down without a fight, they continued to move the ball down the field after halftime taking the lead 14-13. Former San Bernardino High school football standout Mike Fields forced a huge fumble giving the Raiders a chance to regain the lead. Running back Eric Marshall who has been a torture for opposing defenses during the playoffs had a huge 60 yard touchdown run to lift the Raiders ahead 21-14. The Raider defense played tough hardnose football to hold the Trojans to 14 points. Kicker/punter Tim Parker put his foot on display again
Saturday night with a field goal to put the Raiders up 24-14 with 2 minutes left for the Trojans to score.
In those classic football movies it’s always that last drive that tells the ultimate comeback story. The Trojans had one last shot to create that comeback story. Raider defensive back Damien Hale created a moment of his own with an interception to seal the deal. Owner Dwaine Radden Sr. said, “I’m proud of the players and the staff for believing and buying into our Franchise and team code, “Discipline, Determination, Dedication Equals Winner always on and off the field.” Raider Head Coach Antonio Marshall said, “We played great, it was a close battled but in the second half we made adjustments.” He also talked about winning the coveted NDPFL Championship, “I feel like a 1200 lb gorilla is off my back, having to follow in the footsteps of Owner and former Head coach Dwaine Radden Sr.”
The California Raiders are ranked #2 only behind the #1 Colorado Greyhawks and will have an opportunity to play for a National championship. Coach Marshall talked about the ranking after the game stating, “It’s a blessing to even be ranked, we could be ranked #1 but we’ll take #2 for now.” The Vegas Trojans finished ranked # 8 but still had a very good season and showed signs of promise. The Raiders have been one of the most dominant semi-pro teams in the state of California, and in the country.