“Kenny was kicking for his job this week and he knew it. I sat him down and told him, you need to do well this week. Guess what? He did well, he performed. He hit every PAT right down the pipe, did a good job of hitting around the iron all night. That’s pressure when your coach tells you ‘you aren’t going to be around if you don’t do well this week.’ He did, so maybe I need to talk to some other guys like that,” said Clint Dolezel of his kicker.
The Philadelphia Soul started the second quarter with possession, capitalizing from a Washington Valor pass interference call on Svante Davenport. Adrian Ferns would find the endzone again on this drive to extend the Soul lead, this time on a reception from Dan Raudabaugh. “His number was called and he made plays. Even though he’s got a grade two MCL, he’s still out there doing his job blocking and scoring touchdowns for us,” said Clint Dolezel of Ferns, who sparked the offense in the first half.
Arvell Nelson walked back onto the field with the rest of the Washington Valor and was able to answer back with his second touchdown pass of the game to Doug McNeil III. This time, Pat Clark would convert the extra point. The Philadelphia Soul had their chance to keep the pace of the game on their side, but Dan Raudabaugh received a bad snap on the exchange from PK Manley, which gave possession right back to Washington on a fumble. Clint Dolezel commented on the turnover: “Not good, obviously. Those things frustrate me. PK is one of our veterans, been around for a while. Those things aggravate me more than anything. That’s stuff your first day of seventh-grade practice, that you work snaps. If you can’t get a center exchange with your quarterback, not much else is going to be good for you.” Those same sentiments were echoed from Raudabaugh himself: “A fumbled snap going in to score, we can’t have that. A lot of these wounds are self-inflicted, we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and figure out what it is and get it right.”
After the Dan Raudabaugh fumble, Arvell Nelson connected with Reggie Gray for his first touchdown of the day and Nelson’s third. The Philadelphia Soul had another opportunity to score before the first half was completed, but the ball was turned over on downs. While that wasn’t a fumble or interception, it was just as costly as another opportunity was blown to get back into the pace of the game. This drive was the key point of inconsistency that seemed to separate the productivity between Raudabaugh and Darius Prince. The only pass completed on that drive was to Jordan Williams on six pass attempts. The Washington Valor led, 20-14, at halftime.
By deciding to defer to the second half, the Washington Valor began on offense after the Philadelphia Soul kicked off. Arvell Nelson threw an interception to Dwayne Hollis, again giving the Soul another opportunity to score on offense. This time, Dan Raudabaugh would find BJ Bunn for his third career touchdown reception and Raudabaugh’s second touchdown pass of the day. Wanting to avoid another slow drive with no points to show for, the Valor found a way to rally on the next drive as Nelson completed his fourth touchdown pass of the game to Douglas Neil III, who found the endzone for the third time this game. As Nelson and Neil III partnered up for multiple touchdowns, so did Raudabaugh and Bunn. Bunn was the recipient of his fourth career touchdown reception and Raudabaugh’s third of this game. The Soul did go for two on a pass from Bunn, but the conversion was no good. This came from a botched extra point hold. Going into the fourth quarter, the game was now tied at 27.
Just as quickly as the Philadelphia Soul tied the game, the Washington Valor were able to take back the lead. Nelson Arvell connected with Jared Dangerfield for his fifth touchdown pass of the game, Dangerfield’s first touchdown catch. In the next drive, the Soul worked in Darius Reynolds on offense to provide a different personnel look, but to no avail as the only target to Reynolds on that drive was incomplete. Dan Raudabaugh would finish this drive with his fourth touchdown of the game complete to Darius Prince who caught his first this game. When asked about working Reynolds into the offense, Raudabaugh replied: “He’s a great player no matter where he is. He got a route out there tonight and we weren’t on the same page. It’s all about being ready when your number is called and we got banged up a little again tonight.”
Arvell Nelson would answer for the Washington Valor once again, throwing a pass to Reggie Gray for a touchdown. This would be the sixth and final touchdown pass for Nelson on the day and second touchdown reception for Gray. Coming into this game, the Philadelphia Soul’s gameplan was to limit and contain Nelson, but they failed to do so through the air.
Continued on the page below.