9th Man Nation


Courtesy: Philadelphia Soul Media Relations

Brigade advance to ArenaBowl XXXI with Series Win

BALTIMORE, MD – The Philadelphia Soul fell to the Baltimore Brigade at Royal Farms Arena by the score of 53-41. This is the first time Philadelphia has not advanced to the ArenaBowl Championship since 2015. Although the Soul offense seemed more in sync than last week’s matchup, they were unable to break the Brigade’s steady lead throughout the game.

The Brigade started their opening drive from their own three-yard line and although their top wide receiver, Brandon Thompkins, briefly left the field with an injury, QB Randy Hippeard was able to connect with WR Brandon Collins for an early touchdown.

The Soul’s ensuing drive began with a 19-yard return by DB LaRico Stevenson and a penalty on Baltimore, putting them in prime field position. QB Dan Raudabaugh found star WR Darius Prince wide open in the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown. Due to a missed extra point attempt by Adrian Trevino, the Brigade held the lead at 7-6.

The Brigade answered on their next drive as WR Quentin Sims swiftly dodged multiple Soul defenders to land in the end zone, extending the Brigade lead to 14-6. The Soul wasted no time responding, as WR Darius “Money” Reynolds got behind the Brigade defense to bring the score to Brigade 14 Soul 13 at the end of the first quarter.

The Soul then found themselves with a chance to force a turnover on downs and tilt the momentum in their favor, something they were unable to do in the first meeting. It seemed like they had reversed their fortunes, but costly dual penalties on Jake Metz and Joe Goosby gave the Brigade a fresh set of downs, which they capitalized on when Hippeard found Thompkins, who made a one-handed grab in the end zone to give the Brigade a 21-13 lead.

After spreading the ball around to each of his receivers on the field for the ensuing drive, Raudabaugh finally connected with WR Shaun “SK” Kauleinamoku for a Soul touchdown. SK extended his streak of consecutive post-season games with a receiving touchdown to 10. Unfortunately, the Soul missed on their two-point conversion attempt to tie the game, leaving the score Brigade 21, Soul 19. The Brigade were able to squeeze one more touchdown into the first half when Hippeard found his favorite target Thompkins. Despite what had already transpired in the first half, the Soul were in an ideal position to tighten the Brigade’s lead after a penalty on Baltimore. A touchdown at this point would have put Philadelphia just a few points behind the Brigade going into the third quarter, where they would start with possession. However, the Soul’s momentum was stunted going into halftime, as they were unable to score, and the score remained Brigade 28, Soul 19.

The Soul began the second half with the ball in their possession, but a fumble by Darius Prince gave the ball and momentum to the Brigade. Baltimore capitalized on this opportunity with a touchdown by OL Jordan McCray. However, the Soul finally gained a little momentum with not only a touchdown by WR Aaron Wascha, but also a successful two-point conversion by Prince, tightening the score to Brigade 35 Soul 27.

Brigade receiver Brandon Collins brought the crowd to its feet on the next possession, hauling in a one-handed touchdown that was well covered as he went crashing into the boards. A successful two-point conversion by FB Rory Nixon followed and the quarter ended with a score of Brigade 43, Soul 27.

The Soul was back in possession at the top of the fourth and Raudabaugh was able to connect with WR Prince for a six-yard touchdown. Unfortunately, another two-point conversion was missed by the Soul, keeping the Brigade in the lead at 43-33. The Brigade continued to blow past the Soul with another one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone by Collins, extending their lead to 50-33.

WR Lonnie Outlaw was able to grab a touchdown and a two-point conversion, it wasn’t enough to close the gap for the Soul, as the outcome of both the game and the Playoff Series was settled. The final score of Brigade 53, Soul 41 sent the Brigade to ArenaBowl XXXI while the Soul’s pursuit of three straight championships came to an end.

The Soul finished the 2018 campaign with a 7-5 regular season record and first round playoff exit. Deposits for 2019 season memberships are currently being accepted. Visit www.philadelphiasoul.com or call 888-789-SOUL for more information.

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