They say that defense wins championships. If this is the case, the Rough Riders offense better wake up because they can't afford to lose another heart breaker like to the Northland Bulls on Saturday.
Before the game started, the Rough Riders knew that they controlled their own destiny in regards to the playoffs and having a #1 seed.
The defense held the Bulls to just one score. The Rough Riders only scored once also. The difference was a blocked extra point.
Notables on the defensive side was Akeem Peterson with 8 tackles and a sack AND Alex Tompkins with 7 tackles and a sack as well.
The loss drops River City to 4-1 and now a 1/2 game back of the Bulls (5-1).
The Rough Riders travel to play Fox Valley Force on July 8th looking to get back to their winning ways.
If one would have said there would only be two scores in a Rough RIders/Predators game I would have said "no way".
Well if you like defense you were in for a treat. The two teams combined for 10 points and the Rough Riders brought home a 7-3 victory to keep them undefeated (4-0) in the NEFL's Eastern Conference.
Akeem Peterson and Corey Oligney led the way both with 6 tackles
The only score the Rough Riders could muster was a 29 yard third quarter score by Jeffery Peoples.
Don't let the 1-2 record for the Minnesota Warriors fool you. They will be a contender coming out of the NEFL's Western Conference.
The warriors showed the Rough Riders that they meant business with a 38-22 victory.
The Rough Riders scored on the opening drive to take a 7 point lead. From there the Warriors ran off 31 unanswered points.
The Rough Riders fall to 5-2 Overall but still control their own playoff destiny. It won't get any easier as they will head back into conference play against the Chippewa Valley Predators.
If you were to ask the players from last season, to a man they would tell you that this was the most important game of the 2017 season.
The last time these teams met the Fox Valley Force beat River City 27-25 and knocked them out of the NEFL 2016 playoffs.
The Rough Riders made sure the Force didn't leave within consecutive wins and beat them 31-14.
Five Ints, a sack, two forced fumbles and and a 52 yards score is what the defense brought to the table. This proved to be to much for Fox Valley.
With this win, the Rough Riders stay undefeated (3-0) in NEFL play and sole possesson of 1st place in the ?Eastern Division.
In a game which could be a preview of the NEFL Eastern Conference Championship, the Rough Riders hold on to beat the Northland Bulls 28-23.
7 sacks definitely helps the Rough Riders take care of the Bulls, but in this game it was the offensive line that helped keep Karl Hoffmann(QB) upright. This allowed him to go 22-34 for 255 yards and 4 passing TDs. Three of which went to Phillip Ditto and the fourth which proved to be the game winner to Drew Wilwert for 8 yards with only 1:32 left in the game.
The "D" carries the Rough Riders in their NEFL opener against the Hudson Thunderhawks.
104 passing yards along with just 44 rushing yards is all the Thunderhawks can muster against the River City defense. Akeem Peterson and James Washington had 5 tackles each while Peterson added two sacks. The defense as a whole showed why they will have plenty to say this 2017 season.
2015 league MVP went 24-39 for 290 yards. TScott Shewmon brought in 10 catches for 101 yards and Peoples rushed 12 times for 72 yards including 2 TD's.
Up next for the Rough Riders is a home game against the Northland Bulls.
You don't want to going into a game feeling like you know that you're going to dominate a game.
The Rough Riders found out that the first-year Northern Lights Cowboys were for real.
Although the Rough Riders led for most of the game, the Cowboys just would not go away. If it wasn't for the heroic efforts of Jerome Peoples, the Rough RIders might have been facing their first defeat.
Peoples returned not only one 73 yard kickoff for a TD, but followed it up with a 75 yard score.
The Rough Riders improve to 2 - 0 and make the trip on April 29th to take on Door County Destroyers
If you had to give the 2017 Rough Riders season opener a grade it would be a B-. Offense and Defense clicked on all cylinders but Special Teams needs some work.
Karl Hoffmann started off the season red hot by completing 21 of 35 passes for 266 yards and 6 TDs to go with that performance. He was able to spray the ball around to 8 different receivers. Scott Shewmon caught seven of those passes for 71 yards while newcomer Aaron Solie and CJ Woods both added two TDs. Craig Warminski led all running backs with 13 carries for 99 yards and a score.
The Rough Riders lost 9 starters from last season's defense. You would think that this would destroy a team. If the performance they put together against the Sabercats is any indication how the season is going to be then I think they will be just fine. Led by returning starter Alex Tompkins (LB), his 6 tackles paved the way for the Rough Riders "D" causing 4 sacks (Troy Prill 2), 4 forced fumbles and 1 INT.
First game of the season is in the books. They travel to Stanley WI. on April 22nd to take on the Northern Lights Cowboys.
We want to thank all the fans that came to support us and a special thanks to all the service men and women.
On April 15th, our season opening game, we are giving free admission to all firefighters, police, emergency medical responders, as well as active and former service members. Please present service identification when entering to gain free admission, the game starts at 3 p.m. at La Crosse’s Logan High School football field.
Be sure to enter sign up at the gate to be entered into the drawings for gift certificates and prizes, as well as recognition throughout the game.
We hope you’ll take the opportunity to bring out your family and enjoy a game of hard-hitting football.
Thank you for your service!
River City Rough Riders
The River City Rough Riders is a semi-professional football team based in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Founded in 2003, the team competes in the Northern Elite Football League (NEFL), which continues to be one of the top minor league football leagues in the nation, winning national titles three of the last five years.
From their very first game, which they won in an all-out slug fest, the Rough Riders have established themselves as formidable opponents. The team has earned playoff berths for each of the last two seasons, but hasn't been able to reach the NEFL's Elite Bowl. Hopes are high that 2017 will be the year the team breaks through and goes to the Championship.
Lining up alongside Rough Riders veterans to make that happen, are several standout players from other leagues, many of whom were named to their respective leagues' all-star teams.
Look for veteran defensive tackle Kevin Suber to hold things down while the team adjusts to some new starters. Suber has been on the All NEFL Team for each of the last three years.
Other key returners on Defense: Troy Prill(LB), DeAndre Hooper(DB), Jake Braun(DE)
Key additions on Defense: Zach Hogenson(LB), Britain Bell(DB,WR)
The Rough Riders' Offense is solid, so scoring should be at a premium, thanks in part to returning 2015's league MVP in Karl Hoffmann(QB), All NEFL standout Craig Warminski(RB), and one of the league's best receiving groups CJ Woods, Phillip Ditto, and Scott Shewmon.
The offensive line is a powerhouse, anchored by Chad Hasz(C)
Other key returners on Offense: Drew Wilwert(TE), Kalvin Payton(LT), Nate Morgan(LG), John Robinson(RT)
Key additions on Offense: Aaron Solie(WR), and WSFL All-Stars Jeremy Bennett(WR), Neil Haustad(OL/DL), Zach Miller(OL/TE) and Joe Sluga (QB/WR).
This Rough Rider team is filled with guys that have a "Love For The Game".
All of them have played high school ball, and most have played on the college level. Their talent is impressive and their desire to win is powerful.
As they polish their skills, many will be scouted by professional teams, and have the opportunity to take it to the next level.
What does this mean for our fans? It means that our players go out there every game, knowing there could be a scout in the stands, watching to see what they can do. They play like their very future in football depends on it... because, for them, it does. It makes for some very exciting football.
But don't take our word for it. Bring the family and come on out to a game and see for yourself.
Rough Riders vs Fox Valley Force 2017 Highlights