Fresh off his UFC Contender Series first round knockout victory, which led to an official UFC contract, the Richmond Roughriders and former Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers Defensive Lineman Greg Hardy returned to the Richmond Coliseum this past Saturday helping the Richmond Roughriders to a 14 point victory over the Carolina Energy in round 1 of the American Arena League Playoffs.
Nearing the end of the first quarter the Roughriders, riding an early scoring surge, were up 22-0 over the Energy when Greg Hardy went down in pain with an apparent and possibly serious knee injury. After what seemed to be a lifetime, Greg got up and started limping off the field, slowly but under his own support, the crowd though cheering him on in emotional support, could sense that was the end of Hardy's night.
With Hardy's departure seemed to mark a change in momentum as the Carolina Energy would answer back with 22 unanswered points of their own tying the game at halftime 22-22 heading into the second half.
The second half started off similar to the end of the first as the Carolina Energy's Perry Floyd returned the second half kickoff to the house, quickly landing the Energy in the lead 29-22. This time the Roughriders did not seem phased as they trotted back onto the field but this time, with Greg Hardy.
Seeing his team down by a touchdown in a game that
you cannot lose, Hardy demanded to team doctors that he must go back in. Ignoring the doctors advice Greg Hardy returned to the game sporting a new knee brace, noticeable limp, and a huge roar from the home team crowd encouraged by his return.
Down early in the 3rd quarter the Roughriders began to come back with some quick scoring strikes from QB Robert Kent to WR Standouts Rashaad Carter and a 4th and 23 Touchdown conversion to WR D'mauri Jones to really turn the tide.
The Roughriders finished the hard fought game coming out on on top 57-43 landing them in their second championship game in just two years on Saturday June 30th against the Atlanta Havoc Football team @ The Richmond Coliseum.