9th Man Nation

SOUL FALL TO EMPIRE IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE

Courtesy: Philadelphia Soul Media Relations

Will Host Baltimore in Game 1 of the Playoff Series

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Philadelphia Soul (7-5) fell to the Albany Empire (8-4) 71-57 in the regular season finale in front of 10,082 fans at the Times Union Center.  The Soul will enter the Arena Football League Playoffs as the third seed.  The Soul will host the Brigade at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, July 15 at 6:00 p.m. in Game 1 of the Playoff Series. The Soul will travel to Baltimore in Game 2 of the Series on Friday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m.  The team with the highest aggregate score of the two playoff games will advance to ArenaBowl XXXI. Playoff packs and Family Four Packs for  for the July 15th playoff game are on sale now at PhiladelphiaSoul.com. Single game tickets will be on sale tomorrow, July 8 at WellsFargoCenterPhilly.com.

Both teams started the scoring quickly as Empire FB and former Soul player Mykel Benson bulled his way into the end zone and Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh connected with WR Darius “Money” Reynolds, tying the score at 7. Raudabaugh made his big return last week after being out with a shoulder injury and totaled 22 completions on 27 attempts for 255 yards, 7 touchdowns and 1 interception.

Just when the scoring seemed like it would go in normal back-and-forth fashion after a touchdown by WR Joe Hills, the Empire special team players Greg Carr and Terence Moore caused a safety on the ensuing kickoff, lengthening the Empire lead at 15-7. The game took a large turn in favor of the Empire when QB Tommy Grady found WR Malachi Jones in the end zone and then backup QB Mike Fafaul completed a 2-point conversion, giving the Empire a lead of 23-7.

Although the Soul began to fight back when Raudabaugh found WR Lonnie Outlaw in the end zone, cutting the score deficit to 23-14, it wasn’t enough to make an impact on the lead at the half. Empire FB Benson found the end zone for the second time in the half, causing the Empire to lead by just over double with a score of 30-14 at halftime.

The second half seemed to start like the arena football we’re used to. Soul QB Raudabaugh completed a pass to WR Darius Prince for a quick strike back to start the half. Prince has had a stellar season for the Soul and has been battling Empire’s Malachi Jones for the top receiver spot throughout the year. Speaking of Jones, he answered Prince’s touchdown with one of his own on the ensuing drive, giving the Empire a lead of 37-21 with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter.

After a 24-yard return by DB LaRico Stevenson, Raudabaugh not only found Prince in the end zone for a touchdown, but connected with him again for a successful two-point conversion, capping the drive with a score of Empire 37 Soul 29. But the Empire answered right back with an onside kick recovery by LB Terence Moore. This set up another touchdown for the Empire as Grady connected with Hills for a 13-yard touchdown, lengthening their lead to 44-29. The Soul closed the score gap yet again with a kick by Adrian Trevino and the quarter ended with the Empire still in the lead at 44-36.

The Empire continued to dominate on offense and started the fourth quarter with a quick touchdown by Malachi Jones, his third of the game, making the score Empire 51 Soul 36. Empire WR Greg Carr recovered the onside kick, giving their next golden opportunity for a touchdown, which he then completed, giving them a 57-36 lead.

The Soul kept fighting and Raudabaugh connected with Prince for his third touchdown of the game. But after an unfortunate penalty on the Soul which put the ball on the Empire 9-yard line, the Empire made one last touchdown to give them a lead by 20 with a score of 63-43. The Soul answered with a touchdown by Prince and even recovered a kickoff in the end zone for another touchdown, it wasn’t enough to give the Soul the win they needed. Empire WR Carr recovered another onside kick and Grady capitalized by connecting with Hills for a touchdown, extending their lead to 71-57 in the final seconds of the game.

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