Courtesy: Washington Valor Media Relations
Nelson, Epps combine for record numbers in one-possession loss to Brigade
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Valor (0-1) were defeated, 59-51, by the Baltimore Brigade (1-0) Friday night at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Md. Valor quarterback Arvell Nelson threw for 391 yards and tied a career high with eight passing touchdowns, earning Offensive Player of the Game.
Valor wideout Dezmon Epps, playing in his first career Arena Football League game, registered a Valor franchise-record 201 receiving yards to go along with four receiving touchdowns, tying the team’s all-time high. Fellow Washington wide receivers Josh Reese and Jared Dangerfield each caught seven passes, combining for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
|MOST VALUABLE PLAYER||OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME||DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME|
|Brigade QB Shane Boyd
||Valor QB Arvell Nelson
||Brigade DB Joe Powell
VALOR NOTES & QUOTES
- In his first career AFL game, wide receiver Dezmon Epps recorded nine receptions, 201 receiving yards (Valor franchise record) and four receiving touchdowns (tying the Valor franchise record).
- Valor quarterback Arvell Nelson’s eight passing touchdowns tie a career high and mark his 11thcareer game with 7+ passing touchdowns.
- Three Valor wide receivers caught multiple touchdowns: Epps (4), Reese (2) and Barnett (2).
- With 11:53 remaining in the first quarter, Reese surpassed 1,000 career receiving yards on his 10-yard touchdown catch.
- After trailing, 28-19, with just under three minutes to go in the first half, the Valor managed to take a 31-28 lead into halftime thanks to a nine-yard touchdown from Nelson to Barnett, a turnover on downs forced by the Valor defense and a 46-yard touchdown by Epps.
- Linebacker Alvin Ray Jackson led the Valor with five total tackles (four solo).
VALOR HEAD COACH BENJI MCDOWELL
On the game in general
“For us, it didn’t really even come down to the last couple minutes. It was the turnovers. You can’t win when you turn the ball over like we did in the third quarter. You have to be smarter. We had lot of good stuff happen tonight. We just have to continue to keep doing the good stuff and stay away from the bad. It was the first game. It wasn’t terrible. Everything that was bad, we can correct.”
On rookie wide receiver Dezmon Epps
“He’s a very fast, shifty guy. He has a great work ethic and he just wants to get better every day. It’s the same thing we saw in camp. I’m glad it translated into the games. He went against some good defensive backs, so we just have to keep him level and let him know they’re going to have a plan for them next week and he has to counter that.”
VALOR QUARTERBACK ARVELL NELSON
On rookie wide receiver Dezmon Epps
“I saw that from the first day he stepped on the field. He’s got some young legs and he can stretch the field. We just try to get him the ball in certain situations and take advantage of his skillset. We did that today. He played a heck of a game.”
VALOR DEFENSIVE BACK SVANTE DAVENPORT
On what went wrong for the Valor late in the game
“We lost our concentration at times. We made some key mistakes – that’s about it. Too many mistakes when the game is on the line and we paid for it.”
On how the defense played as a whole
“We played OK, but we have to get better. We have to communicate and be on the same page.”
NEXT TIME OUT
The Valor return to action next Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m., taking on the Albany Empire at Times Union Center in Albany, New York in a rematch of last season’s 2018 AFL Semifinals.