Courtesy: Washington Valor Media Relations
Washington wins season series over Baltimore, 2-1
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Valor (6-5) defeated the Baltimore Brigade (6-5), 47-40, Saturday night at Royal Farms Arena. Valor quarterback Arvell Nelson threw for 271 yards and totaled seven touchdowns (five passing, two rushing) and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
With the win, Washington clinches a postseason berth for the second consecutive season. After closing out the regular season next weekend against Columbus, the Valor will begin postseason play on the weekend of July 26. The 2019 postseason will kick off with a pair of home-and-home series between the top four teams in the league (#1 vs. #4 and #2 vs. #3) with games played on the weekends of July 26 and August 2. Teams will advance to ArenaBowl XXXII based on the aggregate score of the two games played. Unlike the first round of the playoffs, ArenaBowl XXXII will be a traditional single-game matchup on Sunday, August 11 at 3 p.m. ArenaBowl XXXII will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.
VALOR NOTES & QUOTES
- Valor wide receiver Josh Reese caught five passes for a season-high 103 receiving yards and a pair of receiving touchdowns, earning Offensive Player of the Game.
- Valor wideout Douglas McNeil III caught six passes for 45 and two touchdowns, his fourth game this season with multiple receiving touchdowns. McNeil’s first catch of the game was the 100th of his AFL career.
- After entering halftime down, 26-19, the Valor outscored the Brigade, 14-0, in the third quarter to take a 40-33 lead. Nelson recorded his second rushing touchdown of the game and, just over a minute later, found McNeil III for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
- Nelson’s seven-touchdown performance marked the seventh time since joining the Valor that he registered 3+ passing touchdowns and 2+ rushing touchdowns in the same game. It was the third time this season Nelson has hit those benchmarks.
- Valor defensive back Fredrick Obi led the team with six total tackles (all solo), his third game this season with 5+ total tackles.
- With the win, the Valor are now 7-5 all-time against Baltimore and 2-1 in 2019.
VALOR HEAD COACH BENJI MCDOWELL
On the win:
“This put us in a playoff spot and gives us an opportunity to compete for a championship again…you always have to take the wins and be happy with
On how defending a championship changes how a team approaches the postseason:
“You have to adopt the mentality knowing that you are going to get everyone’s best game, week in and week out. We have to bring our best game. That in and of itself is challenging, but it puts you in that playoff mentality every week.”
On preparation going into the matchup with Baltimore:
“There was a lot of film study. Guys had to understand they were either going to win it or lose it – but there wouldn’t be any excuses. You’re either going to win it and put yourself in the playoffs this week, or you’re going to wait around and have to deal with it a whole week later.”
On closing out the regular season next weekend against Columbus:
“Last time we played Columbus it was a one-possession game when it shouldn’t have been. They have a good team and they play tough defensively. They have one of the better defenses in the league. No matter what the score is, they’re always going to play.”
The Valor close out their regular season next Saturday, July 20, hosting the Columbus Destroyers at 3:30 p.m.at Capital One Arena. Washington won the teams’ only prior meeting this season, 29-27, in Week 5 on a last-second touchdown by wide receiver Douglas McNeil III. The game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Washington and ESPN3.