9th Man Nation


Courtesy: Albany Empire Media Relations

The Albany Empire (8-4) defeated the Philadelphia Soul (7-5) at the Times Union Center on Saturday night by a score of 71-57 in front of a crowd of 10,082.  The Empire finished the season with the highest average home attendance which would mean that Albany would host ArenaBowl XXXI should the Empire make it there.  The victory over Philadelphia clinched the number one seed in the Arena Football playoffs for Albany.


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Albany Empire723142771

The game’s MVP, Tommy Grady had another great performance tallying 21 completions on 29 attempts for 239 yards and 8 touchdowns.  On the season, Grady has totaled 228 completions on 341 attempts for a league best 2,960 yards.  Grady also finished the regular season leading the league in passing touchdowns with 81 and passer rating with 126.2.

Grady connected with four different receivers on the night.  Offensive player of the game, Joe Hills, continued his dominance leading the way with 10 catches for 106 yards and 4 receiving touchdowns.  This marked the 92nd consecutive game with a receiving touchdown for Hills, an active league record.  Playing eleven games this season, Hills finished with a league-high 33 receiving touchdowns.  Hills finished one reception off the league lead with 88 receptions and third in the league with 1,045 receiving yards.  Receiver Malachi Jones capped off his great rookie season by adding 6 catches for 86 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Jones finished the regular season with a league-high 1,156receiving yards on the season.  Jones finished second in the league with 29 receiving touchdowns and first in the league in total touchdowns with 34.  Fullback Mykel Benson gave Empire solid production on the ground, racking up 39 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns on 10rushing attempts.  Receiver Collin Taylor added 4 catches for 46 yards.  Greg Carr contributed 1 catch in the red zone for 1 touchdown.

Leading the way on defense was defensive back Marrio Norman who had a game-high 6 total tackles and 1 pass breakup.  Norman finished the season tied for second in the league in total tackles with 68.5.  Jack linebacker Terence Moore continued his defensive player of the year campaign with 4 total tackles, 1 interception and 1 pass breakup.  Moore finished the regular season with a league-best 6 interceptions and is tied with Norman for second in the league in total tackles with 68.5.  Defensive back Varmah Sonie added 3.5 total tackles and 1 pass breakup.  Sonie finished the season fifth in the league with 56.5.

The Empire hit the road to face the Washington Valor in the Nation’s Capital for the first game of the playoff series on Saturday, July 14, at 7:00 pm at the Capital One Arena.  The second game of the series will be a home matchup against the Valor and played on Saturday, July 21, at 7:30 pm in the Times Union Center.

Albany Empire 2018 Inaugural Season Presented By CDPHP.

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