2008 Erie RiverRats season

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2008 Erie RiverRats season
ErieRiverRats.png
Head coach Shawn Liotta
Owner Jeff Hauser
Home field Louis J. Tullio Arena
809 French Street
Erie, Pennsylvania 16501
Results
Record 10-4
Division place 2nd
Playoff finish Lost Divisional (Express) 57-67

The 2008 Erie RiverRats season was the 2nd season for the American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) franchise.

On January 8, 2008 the RiverRats announced they would be leaving the Mon Valley in favor of Erie for the 2008 season, renaming themselves the Erie RiverRats.[1] They replaced the city's previous AIFA team, the Erie Freeze.[2] The RiverRats have several Freeze connections, including many of the Freeze's best players: QB/WR David Dinkins, cornerback Jovon Johnson (himself an Erie native), kicker J.R. Cipra, center Jonathon Sitter, and defensive tackle Roosevelt Benjamin. AIFA owner Michael Mink stated that he considers the RiverRats to be a consolidation of the original RiverRats and the Freeze[3] with the team retaining the RiverRats name, franchise and management structure.

The RiverRats started the season 3–0 with Dinkins missing a game due to work obligations, that ultimately moved him to wide receiver so that Jarrod Highberger could start at quarterback.[4] After 3 starts with Highberger, the team had lost 2 games in a row, with the later being focused on Highberger's interceptions,[5] the team signed Rod Rutherford, a former NFL backup, as the starting quarterback.[6] Rutherford gave the offense an instant shot in the arm, as he guided the team to a 7–2 record the rest of the season, earning the 2nd seed in the Northern Division.[7] The RiverRats traveled to Reading for their playoff game, and were leading in the 4th quarter when the Express took a lead with 15.2 seconds remaining.[8] Erie was able to get the ball at the Express 9-yard line with 5.7 seconds remaining, but Rutherford was unable to score, throwing an incompletion and was intercepted on the last play, and returned 50-yards for a touchdown.[9]

At the end of the 2008 season, five RiverRats (QB Rod Rutherford, OL Anthony Peluso, K J. R. Cipra, LB Glenroy Watkins, & LB Roosevelt Benjamin) were named onto the AIFA Eastern Conference All-Star team.[10]

Schedule[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Date Opponent Home/Away Result
March 9 Carolina Speed Home Won 42-21
March 15 Canton Legends Away Won 38-24
March 22 Columbus Lions Away Won 54-48
March 31 Reading Express Home Lost 34-44
April 11 Huntington Heroes Away Lost 24-54
April 18 Baltimore Mariners Home Won 55-40
April 25 Baltimore Mariners Away Won 49-17
May 3 Canton Legends Home Won 50-48
May 9 Huntington Heroes Home Won 47-43
May 17 Huntington Heroes Away Won 52-31
May 24 Florence Phantoms Away Lost 27-57
May 31 Canton Legends Home Won 45-37
June 7 Reading Express Home Won 51-32
June 14 Reading Express Away Lost 26-66
June 21 Rochester Raiders Away Lost 6-41
July 3 Reading Express (Playoffs) Away Lost 57-67

¶ Exhibition match

Standings[edit]

Team Overall Division
Wins Losses Percentage Wins Losses Percentage
Eastern Conference
North Division
Reading Express 10 4 0.714 5 1 0.750
Erie RiverRats 10 4 0.692 6 2 0.833
Baltimore Mariners 4 10 0.286 1 6 0.143
Canton Legends 3 11 0.214 1 6 0.143
East Division
Florence Phantoms 10 4 0.692 4 1 0.800
Huntington Heroes 6 8 0.429 2 3 0.400
Carolina Speed 6 8 0.429 0 2 0.000
Fayetteville Guard 5 9 0.357 3 2 0.600
Western Conference
South Division
Mississippi MudCats 13 1 0.929 7 1 0.875
Columbus Lions 10 4 0.692 5 1 0.833
Augusta Colts 7 7 0.538 2 4 0.327
Florida Stingrays 0 14 0.000 0 7 0.000
West Division
Wyoming Cavalry 11 3 0.786 11 3 0.786
Arizona Adrenaline 11 3 0.786 11 3 0.786
New Mexico Wildcats 5 9 0.357 5 9 0.357
Utah Saints 1 13 0.071 1 13 0.071
  • Green indicates clinched playoff berth
  • Purple indicates division champion
  • Grey indicates best league record

Roster[edit]

2008 Erie RiverRats roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Kickers

Injured Reserve
  • Currently vacant

Exempt List

  • Currently vacant

Failure to report

  • Currently vacant

Rookies in italics
Roster updated June 14, 2008
22 Active, 0 Inactive

More rosters

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pittsburgh RiverRats Relocate to Erie, PA". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. January 8, 2008. Retrieved October 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ Bob Jarzomski (January 9, 2008). "Indoor football is back". www.goerie.com. CyberInk LP and the Erie Times-News. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  3. ^ "This Week in the AIFA radio show". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. January 17, 2008. 
  4. ^ Bob Jarzomski (March 28, 2008). "RiverRats' quarterback change moves Dinkins to receiver". www.goerie.com. CyberInk LP and the Erie Times-News. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Interceptions hinder 'Rats in loss". www.goerie.com. CyberInk LP and the Erie Times-News. April 12, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  6. ^ "RiverRats sign former Pitt QB Rutherford". www.goerie.com. CyberInk LP and the Erie Times-News. April 17, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  7. ^ "RiverRats to play Express in AIFA playoff opener". www.goerie.com. CyberInk LP and the Erie Times-News. June 26, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Express ends RiverRats' season". www.goerie.com. CyberInk LP and the Erie Times-News. July 3, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Rats! Express eliminate Erie on late TD". www.goerie.com. CyberInk LP and the Erie Times-News. July 4, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Erie RiverRats Place Five on AIFA All-Star Team". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. July 29, 2008. Retrieved December 26, 2013.