Louisiana was 19 yards away from a game-tying touchdown, but couldn’t finish off a comeback, falling to Richmond 56-50 in a game the Bucs never led.
“We killed ourselves all night,” coach Darnell Lee said. “They did an excellent job of putting us in those situations.”
A blocked field goal was key early, staking the Raiders to a 13-0 lead. The Swashbucklers returned the favor, though, when Damien Huren ran back a missed field goal to cut the lead to 41-37 in the third quarter.
Louisiana couldn’t turn that into a lead, though, because of another blocked field goal.
After the Bucs failed to convert an onside kick late, Richmond could have run out the clock with less than a minute remaining, but two running plays didn’t keep the clock moving — one was out of bounds, the other for a loss, which automatically stops the clock.
All-PIFL kicker T.C. Stevens missed a 25-yarder, and Louisiana (6-7) had 16 seconds to make a comeback.
Backup QB Alvin Bartie was on the field at that point. Starter Chris Mayabb broke his hand in the second quarter, but continued to play into the third before being replaced.
After advancing the ball into Raiders territory, the Swashbucklers were able to use the timeout the team had saved on Richmond’s miscues.
Bartie then got two shots at the winner. Despite throwing an interception with no time left, the play was called back for an illegal defense and Richmond had to stop the Bucs, who were 19 yards from a tying touchdown, one more time.
RoShawn Marshall was the one who did that, knocking down a pass at the buzzer.
“They played us tough both games in the regular season,” the Raiders defensive back said. “We knew they weren’t going to lay down.”
Richmond (11-2) finishes its season with a perfect 7-0 record at home, and will head to Albany, Ga., for Saturday’s PIFL championship.
Woodhouse’s two blocks were difference makers for the Raiders, something he’s been providing all year by vexing opposing kickers.
“Those two field goals I blocked are the six points missing off their board,” he said. “It’s about stepping up and making a play.”
Richmond QB Antwon Young did plenty of that, scoring a combined eight touchdowns on the ground and in the air.
It left Louisiana on the outside looking in, breaking a five-year streak of title-game appearances.
The Bucs are now 4-15 in road games in the last three seasons.