In the fifth week of the 2019 Arena Football League season, the Philadelphia Soul lost a costly game on the road to the Baltimore Brigade, bringing their winning percentage down to .400 on the season and their record to 2-3. The costly loss on the round puts the Soul at fourth overall in the AFL standings and with an injury to Aaron Wascha and Lonnie Outlaw being a game-time decision, the Soul is playing wounded against the winless Columbus Destroyers.
When Philadelphia Soul head coach, Clint Dolezel, was asked about the execution of the team against the Baltimore Brigade last week. “We dropped, I think, five passes. We missed eight tackles. We dropped a couple of picks on defense.” Those details were recounted by Dolezel as he specified what went wrong after the loss against the Brigade. The last thing Dolezel is doing is overlooking the Columbus Destroyers. Dolezel said, “Columbus will be a formidable opponent.”
Week 5 Recap at Baltimore Brigade:
In front of 4,079 at the Royal Farms Arena, the Philadelphia Soul fell to 2-3 against the Baltimore Brigade, who improved to 3-2. Earlier in the season, week two, the Soul defeated the Brigade in a relatively low scoring affair. Continuing that trend, the Soul scored a low number of points by AFL standards against the Brigade in week five, only tallying thirty on the scoreboard. The Brigade defeated the Soul, 45-30.
Dan Raudabaugh threw for two hundred and twenty yards and three touchdowns. The Philadelphia Soul continue their streak of not allowing a single sack. Shane Boyd threw for one hundred and sixty-four yards and four touchdowns. On the rushing attack, Darius Prince had an eight-yard rushing score for Philadelphia. Rory Nixon and Rodney Austin had a rushing touchdown each for the Baltimore Brigade.
Aaron Wascha left the game against the Baltimore Brigade with a PCL strain. Lonnie Outlaw left with a concussion. These two injuries put a shortage on the Philadelphia Soul offense, as both of these players have been major focuses for Dan Raudabaugh when reading through his progressions to produce touchdowns this season. Wascha had one touchdown catch for twenty yards. Outlaw had two catches totaling forty-six yards, including a touchdown for thirty-five yards. Darius Prince was able to pick up the rest of the production with seven catches for one hundred and seven yards, including a touchdown for thirty-two yards.
On the side of the Baltimore Brigade, Shane Boyd threw for four touchdowns and one hundred and sixty-four yards. Brandon Collins, Milton Williams, Joe Hills, and Rory Nixon all were able to get touchdowns as the eligible receivers used for the Brigade throughout the entirety of this game. Nixon also was able to produce a rushing touchdown. In comparing statistics, the real difference was the inability for the Philadelphia Soul to convert third down and fourth down opportunities. The Brigade was five for six on third down conversions, while the Soul was one of seven on third down and one of three on fourth down.
The defensive player of the game was Josh Victorian who had five passes defensed on his own. The offensive player of the game was Shane Boyd. However, I would have given the most valuable player of the game honors to Rory Nixon who was able to convert touchdowns on the ground and through the air. Simply put, the Philadelphia Soul were outplayed on defense while having to battle the injury bug yet again this season.
Week 6 Preview vs Columbus Destroyers:
First and foremost, to watch the Philadelphia Soul take on the visiting Columbus Destroyers, they can be seen on NBCSP+ or ESPN3. Tune in to listen to the audio broadcast of the game at 97.5 The Fanatic.
A head coach will hit a milestone by the end of the final whistle of the Philadelphia Soul versus the Columbus Destroyers. Clint Dolezel is one win away from eighty wins with the Soul. For the Destroyers, head coach Matt Sauk with a win will record his first career win as head coach. The Soul has not lost four straight games since 2011 and is under .500 in the win percentage for the first time since 2014. This will be the first of three games at home for the Soul as they look to bounce back at the Wells Fargo Center and take control of this season once again.
Another injury to take note of is to Philadelphia Soul defensive back, Dwayne Hollis. Hollis did not return to the game against the Baltimore Brigade but is listed as day to day with Lonnie Outlaw. Aaron Wascha, as reported earlier, will miss the week six contest against the Columbus Destroyers. Also, Darius Reynolds is expected to play on both sides of the ball from here on out. He played a little at linebacker last week against the Brigade after coming off of injured reserve.
Darius Prince is going to be my key player to watch for the Philadelphia Soul. He is coming off of his second consecutive one hundred yards receiving game against the Baltimore Brigade and continued his streak of scoring in every game this season. He’ll have to keep up with Fabian Guerra, who is my player to watch on the Columbus Destroyers. Guerra is averaging 150 all-purpose yards, including two kick return touchdowns.
With a win, the Philadelphia Soul improves to 3-3 on the season, achieving a .500 record and maintaining control of their season, which would also snap a three-game losing streak. A win here would also make the Soul 7-4 all-time against the Columbus Destroyers, including four straight wins. Kick off is 7 pm, live from the Wells Fargo Center!