9th Man Nation


Courtesy: Philadelphia Soul Media Relations

Soul look for 21 straight home wins & face Empire on first trip to Philly

PHILADELPHIA, PA – After having the sting of their first loss of the season linger throughout the bye week, the Philadelphia Soul (3-1) return to action as they go for their 21st straight home victory on Saturday, May 19th at the Wells Fargo Center when they welcome for the first time ever, the Albany Empire (2-2). Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. The Soul are 1-0 against the Empire this season. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network and fans in the Philadelphia area can listen live on 97.5 “The Fanatic.”

In this week’s Soul-Empire matchup, keep an eye out for Empire WR and AFL veteran, Joe Hills. Hills has totaled 751 receptions for 9,188 yards and 239 touchdowns in his career, and collected multiple awards including three in 2016 alone: Offensive Player of the Year, Wide Receiver of the Year and First Team-All Arena. Since he was assigned to the Empire near the end of Week 2, Hills has recorded 25 receptions for 305 yards and nine touchdowns in just three games, which runs his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown to 84.

Another Empire Wide Receiver to watch this week is Malachi Jones. Jones, who is now leading the league in receiving yards (346) after a stellar performance last week against the Washington Valor where he racked up six receptions for 120 yards and three touchdowns, while also adding in one rushing touchdown. For his efforts, he was named the Offensive Player of the Game. Lastly, Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh and his offensive line should beware of Empire DL Trumaine “Joe” Sykes, who leads the league in total sacks with six so far this season.

Similar to past weeks, the quarterbacks are a marquee matchup to watch. In the last Soul-Empire contest, the Soul’s Raudabaugh totaled 22 completions on 37 attempts for 236 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions, while the Empire’s Tommy Grady recorded 23 completions on 38 attempts for 259 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. Raudabaugh currently ranks second in the league in completions (82), yards (949) and touchdowns (19), while Grady ranks third in those same categories.

As for the Soul roster, continue to keep an eye out for WR Darius Prince. Prince is ranked second in the league in total receiving yards (329) and total receptions (28). Also watch rookie FB Adrian Ferns who continues to be the league leader in total rushes (21), rushing yards (89) and touchdowns (4). In addition, DB Dwayne Hollis continues to be a strong defensive presence, as he is second in the league in total tackles (22.5). Empire QB Grady specifically should watch for Soul DL Robert Hayes, as he totaled three sacks in Week 4 against the Brigade.

“We utilized our bye week to rest and recover and now we’re ready to be back,” said Soul Head Coach Clint Dolezel. “We’re looking forward to being back with our home crowd.”

Coming Up Next: The Soul are on the road to face the Baltimore Brigade on Friday, May 25th at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.

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