2008 Erie RiverRats season
|2008 Erie RiverRats season|
|Head coach||Shawn Liotta|
|Home field||Louis J. Tullio Arena|
809 French Street
Erie, Pennsylvania 16501
|Playoff finish||Lost Divisional (Express) 57-67|
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. They replaced the city's previous AIFA team, the Erie Freeze. 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 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. After 3 starts with Highberger, the team had lost 2 games in a row, with the later being focused on Highberger's interceptions, the team signed Rod Rutherford, a former NFL backup, as the starting quarterback. 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. 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. 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.
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.
|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
|New Mexico Wildcats||5||9||0.357||5||9||0.357|
- Green indicates clinched playoff berth
- Purple indicates division champion
- Grey indicates best league record
|2008 Erie RiverRats roster|
Failure to report
Rookies in italics
- "Pittsburgh RiverRats Relocate to Erie, PA". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. January 8, 2008. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- Bob Jarzomski (January 9, 2008). "Indoor football is back". www.goerie.com. CyberInk LP and the Erie Times-News. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- "This Week in the AIFA radio show". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. January 17, 2008.
- 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.
- "Interceptions hinder 'Rats in loss". www.goerie.com. CyberInk LP and the Erie Times-News. April 12, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- "RiverRats sign former Pitt QB Rutherford". www.goerie.com. CyberInk LP and the Erie Times-News. April 17, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- "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.
- "Express ends RiverRats' season". www.goerie.com. CyberInk LP and the Erie Times-News. July 3, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- "Rats! Express eliminate Erie on late TD". www.goerie.com. CyberInk LP and the Erie Times-News. July 4, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- "Erie RiverRats Place Five on AIFA All-Star Team". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. July 29, 2008. Retrieved December 26, 2013.