Courtesy: Philadelphia Soul Media Relations
WASHINGTON, DC – The Philadelphia Soul defeated the Washington Valor 69-33 at Capital One Arena on Sunday afternoon behind a big day from Darius “Money” Reynolds. With the win, the Soul will take a 36-point lead back to Philadelphia next weekend for the second game of the home-and-home series. The team with the highest aggregate score after both games will advance to play the winner of the Albany Empire-Baltimore Brigade series in ArenaBowl 32.
In his first game at receiver since the season opener, Reynolds posted eight catches for 115 yards and a game-high three touchdowns. After his first score of the night, a one-handed grab in the back of the end zone, Philadelphia’s defense forced a turnover on downs, setting up an Adrian Ferns’ touchdown that allowed the team to take a two-score lead into the half.
From there, the team poured it on against the defending ArenaBowl champions. Philadelphia got pressure to Washington’s dual-threat quarterback Arvell Nelson early, bringing the quarterback down twice on the Valor’s opening possession, including a strip sack that was recovered by Washington after a five-yard loss. Nelson turned the ball over four times on the night, throwing three interceptions, all to James Romain, and fumbling in the fourth quarter.
Perhaps the defining moment of the game came midway through the third quarter. Up 27-13, the Soul attempted an onside kick that hit a Valor player before being recovered by defensive back Torez Jones. While the initial ruling on the field was that the ball hadn’t traveled 10 yards, a successful challenge by head coach Clint Dolezel gave Philadelphia possession at its own 10-yard line. Two plays later, Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh found Lonnie Outlaw to extend the Soul’s lead to 21.
Raudabaugh finished an efficient 17-of-23 for 284 yards and six scores. Top receiver Darius Prince had a game-high 125 receiving yards, while catching two touchdowns of his own. In three games vs the Valor this season, Prince has 340 yards and six scores.
The Soul finished the game off with a kick return touchdown, as Jones caught the Valor’s onside kick attempt and took it in to the end zone to give the team a 36-point victory.