Courtesy: Atlantic City Blackjacks Media Relations
Randy Hippeard Leaves Game After Injury
PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Atlantic City Blackjacks (3-5) made the quick trip to the Wells Fargo Center to play a crucial game against the Philadelphia Soul (4-4). The Blackjacks fell behind early and would never find their footing in this contest. Atlantic City is now on the outside looking in at the last playoff spot.
The Soul had the first possession of the game and finished off their opening drive with an Adrian Ferns one-yard rushing touchdown, an area that hurt the Blackjacks in Week 1 where Ferns had three rushing touchdowns. The Blackjacks offense faced an early fourth down and could not convert which gave the Soul excellent field position. It was Ferns again with another one-yard rushing touchdown to put the Soul up by two scores early in the game. The first quarter would close with the Blackjacks needing only two yards for the touchdown with the team trailing the Soul 0-13.
The Blackjacks offense started the second quarter facing another fourth down. After a delay of game penalty, the Blackjacks were forced to pick up seven yards for the touchdown, but they would not convert after the incomplete pass. The Soul would take over inside their own 10-yard line early in the second quarter. After a Soul touchdown, Randy Hippeard responded with a one-play drive as he heaved up a 45-yard pass to Kendrick Ings. Hippeard was hit after the play and left the game, giving Warren Smith Jr. his first action of the season as the quarterback. Mark Lewis attempted an onside kick, but the ball bounced out of bounds and the Soul would take over. The Soul got a little help on fourth down as the Blackjacks were called for pass interference. Ferns would take the ball across the goal line for the third time in the first half with another one-yard rush, putting the Soul back up by 20. With 13 seconds to play in the first-half, Smith Jr. found Rashad Still in the end zone as Still made the great catch for the touchdown. This was Smith Jr.’s first passing touchdown in a Blackjacks uniform. The Blackjacks trailed the Soul with a score of 14-27 heading into the half.
The second half started with the Soul jumping on the loose ball after it bounced off the upright and would score on their next play. The Blackjacks got some help on a penalty on fourth down as the Soul were called for roughing the passer. Three failed completions brought up another fourth down and Dwayne Hollis came away with an interception in the end zone. Dan Raudabaugh took his offense down the field and connected with Darius Prince for the touchdown extending the Soul’s lead to 41-14 after three quarters.
The struggles for the Blackjacks continued into the fourth quarter as Smith Jr.’s pass was broken up in the end zone on fourth down. Danny Southwick replaced Raudabaugh to prevent any injuries and threw a touchdown on his first drive. The Blackjacks finally got their first points of the second half on a 30-yard pass from Smith Jr. to LaMark Brown. After a failed onside kick, the Soul went 12 yards for the touchdown. Smith Jr. scored the last points of the game as he juked a defender out as he ran the ball into the end zone on fourth down. The Atlantic City Blackjacks now will head to Albany to take on the Empire as they sit one-game back for the last playoff spot. Week 9 gets underway on Saturday, June 22 at 3:30 p.m.