Philadelphia Soul vs. Tampa Bay Storm in ArenaBowl XXX

Courtesy: Philadelphia Sooul Media

PHILADELPHIA – ArenaBowl XXX is set – the Tampa Bay Storm and Philadelphia Soul will battle for the Foster Trophy in the City of Brotherly Love on Saturday, August 26th. It is only fitting that the teams with two best records (Philadelphia is 14-1, Tampa is 11-4) compete for the ArenaBowl championship title.

Coming off an ArenaBowl championship in 2016, the 2017 Soul roster had big shoes to fill. With the addition of key free agents, Mykel Benson, Mike Simons and Tyre Glasper along with rookies like Zach Zidian, Darius Prince and John Sheehy, the Soul boasted a 14-1 record, continued a 17-game home win streak and brought the team to back-to-back championship appearances. The Soul look to bring another championship back to Philly and raise the Foster Trophy in the Wells Fargo Center on the 26th.

The Storm are no strangers to ArenaBowl appearances- the team is tied with the Arizona Rattlers for most ArenaBowl appearances in AFL history with ten. The Storm have also had a very strong 2017 showing. After a tough 2-14 season in 2016, the team welcomed head coach Ron James to Florida as well as Joe Hills, Cornelius Lewis and Alvin Ray Jackson from the neighboring Jacksonville Sharks and the rest of their season spoke for itself. The Storm look to steal the championship from the Soul and celebrate a victory for the sixth time in team history.

The Soul swept the season series, defeating the Storm in all three-regular season match-ups. Overall, the Soul hold a 15-5 series record over the Storm over the course of twelve seasons. Philadelphia opened their 2017 season with a trip to Tampa in Week 2 and walked away with a 56-52 victory. The Storm then came to visit during Week 11 but the Soul sent them home with another loss, defeating the team, 62-41 with all nine of the Soul touchdowns being scored between Soul FB Mykel Benson (4) and WR Darius Reynolds (5). Finally, the Storm returned for the final regular season game in Week 18, but they were no match for the 13-1 Soul and they left with another loss, 41-28.

ArenaBowl XXX is going to be a battle of two veteran coaching minds between Soul head coach Clint Dolezel and Storm head coach Ron James. In five seasons as head coach, Dolezel will be appearing in his third ArenaBowl championship with a 1-1 record. Dolezel will be facing his former Las Vegas Gladiators Coach in Ron James, who is entering his first ArenaBowl appearance ever.

The clash of superstars will be exciting to watch on the 26th as the Storm and their high-powered offense face the best defense in the league with the Soul. Storm WR Joe Hills led the league all season with 129 receptions for 1,353 yards and 36 touchdowns and was a strong contribution to the Storm’s playoff victory over the Gladiators, tallying four touchdowns. Hills will have a tough time with the Soul DB Dwayne Hollis and the Soul secondary who led the league in interceptions all season with 21 (Hollis had seven).

On the flip side, the Storm will have their hands full with Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh and his army of receivers. Reynolds, McDaniel and Kauleinamoku alone totaled 318 receptions for 3,109 yards and 78 touchdowns during the regular season and Reynolds carried the Soul receivers with nine receptions, six for touchdowns against the Baltimore Brigade on Saturday. The “Red Rocket” Dan Raudabaugh was the youngest quarterback in AFL history to reach 30,000 career yards and came just short of his 700th career touchdown during the regular season. Storm LB Alvin Ray Jackson is having a great season with the Storm, leading the defense with 56.0 total tackles, four interceptions and five fumble recoveries during the regular season.

ArenaBowl XXX will be an exciting game to watch. The Soul will be the 12th franchise to host an ArenaBowl and the Wells Fargo Center is the 19th arena to host in AFL history. The hard-hitting, high scoring, fast paced environment of arena football will be in full force on the 26th in Philadelphia and after two and a half hours, hopefully the Soul will be the team to raise the Foster trophy for the second year in a row. The Soul organization guarantees no shortage of confetti with a Soul victory.

The Soul will host the Storm on Saturday, August 26 at the Wells Fargo Center at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on 6abc, Twitter and 97.5 The Fanatic. Tickets are on sale now at PhiladelphiaSoul.com.

ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA SOUL
The 2016 ArenaBowl Champion Philadelphia Soul are entering their 12th season in the Arena Football League. In the first 11 seasons, the Soul have won four Division Championships, four Conference Championships and two ArenaBowl Championships. Since the inaugural season in 2004, the Soul are the winningest professional sports team in Philadelphia. Season memberships and group tickets for the Soul’s upcoming 2017 season are on sale now. For tickets, contact the Soul sales department at (215) 253-4900 ext. 3, or request contact from a Soul representative by filling out the form on philadelphiasoul.com. Follow the Soul on Facebook at facebook.com/soul, on Twitter at twitter.com/soulfootball, on Instagram at instagram.com/philadelphia_soul, on YouTube at youtube.com/phillysooulfootball, and SnapChat at snapchat.com/add/soulfootball