Courtesy: Philadelphia Soul Media Relations
|July 6, 2019||4:00 pm||Arena Football League||2019||7,104|
After clinching a playoff berth with an impressive win over the first-place Empire, the Philadelphia Soul will travel to Atlantic City on Saturday to take on a Blackjacks team that’s still fighting for a spot in the postseason. Fans can watch live on NBC Sports Philadelphia, ESPN3 or the ESPN app, or listen to the action on 97.5 The Fanatic.
Trailing by a point at halftime, the Soul defense shut down Albany quarterback Tommy Grady in the second half of last Saturday’s contest, limiting him to just 97 passing yards. Under pressure for the first time this season, Grady was sacked by Sean Daniels early in the third quarter and struggled to regain his form. The 2018 league MVP threw two interceptions and completed just 44% of his passes in the half. Offensively, the Soul dismantled the top red zone defense in the league, scoring on all eight of their trips inside the 10-yard line.
Winners of three straight, Philadelphia will now face a Blackjacks squad that’s coming off of their most impressive victory of the year, a 70-41 drubbing of the Washington Valor. With starting quarterback Randy Hippeard out injured, backup Warren Smith has filled in admirably, completing just over 74% of his passes while throwing 12 touchdowns in two starts. The Blackjacks have averaged 65.5 points in those two games, compared to 39.3 points per game in their first eight matchups of the season.
Philadelphia has won eight straight games over Ron James-coached teams, including both meetings with the Blackjacks this season. Most recently, the Soul defeated Atlantic City 54-29 in Week 8 behind Adrian Ferns’ three rushing touchdowns. Rested in the fourth quarter of that game, Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh finished 15-18 for 138 yards and three touchdowns. His 83.3% completion percentage was his best in a game since July of 2017.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 pm on Saturday at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
FB Adrian Ferns
Ferns has six rushing touchdowns in two games against the Blackjacks this season, compared to four scores in the team’s other eight contests combined. He’ll look to capitalize once more against an Atlantic City team that’s allowed a league-worst 18 rushing touchdowns this season.
WR Antwane Grant
The receiver caught eight passes for 107 yards and four scores in the team’s 70-41 win over Washington last weekend. Grant has gone over 100 receiving yards in three of his last four games.