Heading into this week eight contest against the visiting Atlantic City Blackjacks team, the Philadelphia Soul found themselves back in a hole this season after losing previously at home to the Washington Valor. The battle to stabilize the 2019 season with a .500 winning percentage waged on, which set the stage for the purpose of Sunday’s game. The impact, however, was greater. With a win, the Soul would hold a tiebreaker over the Blackjacks, providing an opportunity to hold onto the final Arena Football League playoff spot. However, with a loss, the Blackjacks would take that final playoff spot in current standings from the Soul. Week eight in Philadelphia, a game of playoff implications and also a game to regain control of their season for the Soul.
The importance of this game was realized last week when we spoke to Philadelphia Soul quarterback, Dan Raudabaugh, and defensive back, James Romain, following the loss to the Washington Valor. “We need to come out with our hair on fire, for real, to send a message to ourselves this week at practice,” said Raudabaugh last week. Romain added, “this should be a wake-up call. I haven’t started three and four here ever and we’re swallowing a tough pill right now.” As much as that loss hurt the team last week, Romain sounded like a man who was not going to be denied an opportunity to redeem this loss. As fired up as the team was last Sunday, following the game against the Valor, the feeling in that room was that the Soul was going to play with a special level of fury against the Atlantic City Blackjacks.
The alarm clock went off on the “wake-up call” as we approached four o’clock on Sunday afternoon, the time of kickoff as the Philadelphia Soul clashed on their home turf with the Atlantic City Blackjacks. In front of 6,910 in attendance, one thing was for certain about this game. At the end of it, there was going to be a separation between the teams making the playoffs and the teams on the outside looking into the post-season. The Soul still clings onto that final playoff spot as they rout the Blackjacks, 54-29.
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