Washington Valor at Baltimore Brigade
Courtesy: Baltimore Brigade Media Relations
Collins sets multiple franchise records in final regular season home game
BALTIMORE, MD. – The Baltimore Brigade fell to the Washington Valor, 47-40, at Royal Farms Arena on Saturday night, coming up just short in an eventful matchup between the interstate rivals. Wide receiver Brandon Collins became the first Brigade player in franchise history to surpass 2,000 receiving yards and now holds the record for most points scored with 242 and touchdowns with 40. Defensive back Joe Powell was named Defensive Player of the Game and recorded 6.5 tackles (6 solo), 134 kick return yards, and a 56-yard kickoff return.
In the final seconds of a tied fourth quarter, Washington quarterback Arvell Nelson found wideout Josh Reese for a 22-yard touchdown that sealed the Valor’s victory. Baltimore backup quarterback Shane Morris had the opportunity to get on the board and potentially force an overtime, but was unable to land a pass in the endzone. Morris replaced quarterback Shane Boyd on the Brigade’s second possession of the third quarter and completed seven passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns. This is Morris’ second appearance as the Brigade quarterback after appearing briefly in their Week 10 win against the Columbus Destroyers. Boyd recorded six passes for 105 yards and three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing).
Morris found wide receiver Joe Hills for a 10-yard touchdown early in what proved to be a nail-biting fourth quarter, tying the game 33-33. Nelson answered with a 45-yard throw to wideout Josh Reese, but Washington only held on to the lead briefly. Morris tied the game yet again when he connected with his first pass to Collins for a 45-yard touchdown of his own. Neither team scored on their following possessions, keeping things tied at 40-40 until Washington scored with 58 seconds remaining on the clock.
The Brigade led 14-13 at the end of the first quarter and 26-19 going into the half. Baltimore defense started the game by sacking Nelson for the first time this season and Boyd hauled in a one-yard rush touchdown, his second rushing touchdown of the season. Powell added points to the board for the third consecutive game this season off a kickoff return. Boyd then threw a pair of touchdowns to Collins and wideout Milton Williams. Defensive lineman Justin Lawrence recorded his first interception of the season, the second in his career, off a Washington pass that bounced from the endzone post and blocked a kick during the second quarter. However, the Brigade went scoreless in the third and Washington took the lead with a set of back-to-back touchdowns.
Nearly 10 minutes were shaved from the game before Nelson scored the first points of the half with a one-yard rushing touchdown, tying the score at 26. Then Nelson completed a pass to McNeil for another touchdown following a fumbled ball on the kick return.
The win clinched a playoff spot for the Valor and won the regular season series 2-1 against the Brigade. Baltimore take on the Atlantic City Blackjacks in their final game of the regular season on Saturday, July 21 and will begin postseason play on the weekend of July 26.
MVP: WAL QB Arvell Nelson: 19 completed passes for 271 yards, seven touchdown (5 passing, 2 rushing)
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: WAS WR Josh Reese: 5 receptions, 103 yards, 2 touchdowns
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: BAL DB Joe Powell: 6.5 tackles (6 solo), 1 interception, 1 kickoff return touchdown
Brigade Head Coach Omarr Smith
Comments on game performance
“I am disappointed in our performance and we need to work harder next week to put ourselves in a better position to win. The first half, I think we played very well. We were up at halftime 26-19. Some things happened over the course of the game that put us in a difficult spot. We were sloppy today in many different aspects on the field.”