The Philadelphia Soul returned home this week to host the Arena Football League best Albany Empire. This was a revenge game that the Soul had marked on their calendar since their previous matchup week three as well as an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth for the 2019 post-season. For the Empire, who had already secured their spot in the playoffs, this game would separate their records in the seeding from the rest of the playoff bracket. Tommy Grady is a quarterback who has yet to be sacked this season and Dan Raudabaugh has been playing very efficiently all season long to provide steady production with a bevy of receivers. Albany winning the previous matchup means that Philadelphia would still have an opportunity at first seed in the playoffs if they can win this game. There was a season-high in attendance for this rematch at the Wells Fargo Center. In front of 10,564 Soul fans, Philadelphia crumbled the Empire, 54-43.
After the game, the players were notably happy about securing their playoff spot, but still, laser-focused on the task at hand of securing the top seed in the playoffs. Philadelphia Soul defensive lineman, Sean Daniels, commented, “it feels great. It’s always good, you can never get enough of that feeling. This is my third season playing with the Soul, three for three in the playoffs, so we’re looking to get another ring.” Daniels and the rest of the Soul defense played with a familiar swagger they’ve gained over a couple of weeks and the Philadelphia offense was able to adjust accordingly and make their possessions count against stiff competition. Torez Jones and James Romain both recorded an interception and Daniels, himself, was able to record the first sack on Tommy Grady this season.
These plays and many others made by Dan Raudabaugh and the Philadelphia Soul receivers provided the outcome for the Soul that escaped their grasp the last time they hosted the Albany Empire. Philadelphia seemed to make a fatal error when Kenny Spencer missed an extra point in the second quarter but would create separation by taking the lead in the third quarter. The Empire made a couple of plays on defense against the Soul offense, including an interception by Terence Moore and a sack from Joe Sykes. The combined production from Raudabaugh and Adrian Ferns just was too much for Albany this past Saturday.
The Philadelphia Soul received the kickoff from the Albany Empire to begin the game. The Soul’s first drive ended when Dan Raudabaugh was intercepted by Terence Moore. The Empire would run one play on offense and respond with a score from Tommy Grady to Malachi Jones. Albany led, 7-0, and this was everything Philadelphia didn’t want. It was urgent that the Soul scored on their second drive, which they did. Raudabaugh connected with Darius Prince for a two-yard touchdown. The Empire struck back with another touchdown pass from Grady to Quentin Sims, closing out the first quarter at the Wells Fargo Center, 14-7.
In the second quarter, the Philadelphia Soul received again following the Albany Empire score to end the first quarter. Dan Raudabaugh was able to move downfield through the air and finished the drive with a ten-yard touchdown pass to Darius Prince. The Empire offense would take the field and the lead back when Tommy Grady finished their first drive of the second quarter with a touchdown pass to Collin Taylor. Albany attempted an onside kick, but it was recovered by Lonnie Outlaw and the Soul came back out on offense. Raudabaugh located BJ Bunn for a three-yard touchdown. The Empire would keep a slim lead after Kenny Spencer missed the extra point. The score at halftime was in favor of Albany, 21-20.
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