Courtesy: Philadelphia Soul Media Relations
PHILADELPHIA – Don’t call it a comeback, they’ve been here for years – even if their opponent hasn’t. The Soul opened the 2019 season with a come-from-behind win over the Atlantic City Blackjacks in front of a crowd of 9,245 fans at the Wells Fargo Center.
Leading the way was James Romain, who set the franchise record with his first interception of the game. The 2018 Defensive Back of the Year picked off Blackjacks’ quarterback Randy Hippeard twice, returning both for touchdowns. He’s the first AFL player to record multiple pick-sixes in a game since Joe Powell of the Cleveland Gladiators did so against the Soul in 2016 and the first member of the Soul to accomplish the feat since Joe Goosby in 2012.
Both of Romain’s interceptions came in key situations for the Soul, who found themselves in an early hole after the Blackjacks jumped out to a 14-0 lead. LaMark Brown opened the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Hippeard. After a special teams’ miscue by the Soul that saw Atlantic City recover a live ball on the ensuing kickoff, the Blackjacks made it a two-score game.
Up 20-7, the expansion franchise was threatening again when Romain snagged his first interception, taking it back 50 yards for a touchdown. The Soul went into the half only trailing by a touchdown but lost a key contributor in offensive lineman Neal Tivis, who was ejected along with Blackjacks’ guard Micanor Regis following an on-field scuffle after a Darius Prince touchdown at the end of the second quarter.
The Soul continued to fight back in the second half. After an Adrian Ferns’ touchdown run tied it midway through the third quarter, Romain gave the Soul their first lead of the game with his second pick-six. After trading scores throughout the second half, Ferns put the Soul ahead for good with his third rushing touchdown of the game to seal a 48-41 victory.
With the win, the Soul improve to 1-0 on the season, winning their fifth straight season opener. The win also marked the team’s 7th straight victory over a Ron James-coached team. Meanwhile, the loss spoiled a stellar performance for Blackjacks’ receiver LaMark Brown, who finished the game with 79 yards and three touchdowns.
Next week the Soul travel to Baltimore on Friday, May 3, looking to avenge last year’s postseason loss. The Blackjacks will play their first game at Boardwalk Hall on Saturday, May 4 against fellow expansion franchise the Columbus Destroyers.
|April 27, 2019||12:30 pm||Arena Football League||2019||9,245|
|Wells Fargo Center|
|3601 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19148, USA|