Coming back home from the first AFL playoff game against the Washington Valor at the Capital One Arena, the Philadelphia Soul owns a +36 points advantage in the aggregate score. When it was all said and done in Washington D.C., the Soul won 69-33. The Soul is officially one game out of an ArenaBowl bid. This second game will take place on Sunday at 4pm from the Wells Fargo Center. As always, the game will be available to watch on NBCSP+ and ESPN3. If you are on a road trip or prefer the radio, you can listen along on 97.5FM The Fanatic.
The victorious Philadelphia Soul team held up four fingers on a single hand put into the air in game one against the Washington Valor. Being this close away from an opportunity to secure their fourth AFL championship, a victory on Sunday would mean the world. However, the Soul doesn’t even have to win the game on Sunday. All they have to do is score more points than the Valor after the end of these two games. The Valor has to win this game by thirty-seven points to advance to the ArenaBowl, something that has yet to happen in any game between these two teams all season, including the playoffs.
Going into this second playoff game, Benji McDowell owns an 11-13 record as the head coach of the Washington Valor. Clint Dolezel has a whopping 85-37 record as head coach for the Philadelphia Soul. In ten all-time meetings, the Soul leads the Valor with seven wins. History sides with Philadelphia on the road to the 2019 ArenaBowl. With the honorary captain, Philadelphia 76ers PF Mike Scott, in the house, the fans at the Wells Fargo Center are likely to create such a home-field advantage to send the Soul to the ArenaBowl.
Darius Reynolds caught eight passes for one hundred and fifteen yards and three touchdowns in the first game of this series against the Washington Valor. “Money” didn’t look like he missed a beat as he was playing LB for the Philadelphia Soul for most of this season. On the defensive side of the ball, first-team All-Arena honoree James Romain intercepted second-team All-Arena honoree Arvell Nelson three times. The Soul’s defense has been hot, recording multiple interceptions in four of their last five games.
If the Philadelphia Soul reaches ArenaBowl 32, this will be their third in the last four years, sixth overall. Right now, the entire team is playing at a high level. The victory against the Washington Valor in Washington D.C. last weekend marks the largest playoff victory on the road in franchise history. Speaking of playing at a high level, Dan Raudabaugh is “red hot” against the Valor, throwing forty-two touchdowns and only five interceptions in seven career games against Washington.
In the first game against the Philadelphia Soul, Arvell Nelson looked bad under pressure. He was sacked twice, lost a fumble on a scramble to the Soul’s two-yard line, and was intercepted three times by James Romain. Compare that to last season when Nelson threw just one interception in all of the playoffs. Philadelphia’s offense was working on all cylinders, especially with Darius Prince. Every time he steps on the field against the Washington Valor, he breaks a hundred yards receiving. In three games against the Valor, Prince has three hundred and forty receiving yards and six touchdowns.
There is nothing sweeter than locking up an ArenaBowl bid on your home turf if you are an AFL athlete. The Philadelphia Soul have the opportunity to do just that on a busy day for Philadelphia sports on August 4th, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center. Come for the Philadelphia Phillies game at 1pm, stay for the Soul game at 4pm, and then head on over to watch the night training camp for the Philadelphia Eagles. Make a day out of it, but be sure to bring the noise to the Wells Fargo Center on the road to ArenaBowl 32!
Eric is a University of Delaware graduate with a degree in English. While in school, he began writing for different publications such as The Highlight Network, Amps and Greenscreens, and he did color commentary for the University of Delaware Men’s and Women’s lacrosse teams throughout the 2013 season as an alumni. Prior to being featured with Philly Sports Network, he began a pro-wrestling podcast with a childhood friend called the Totally Over Podcast. As an avid sports die-hard for all things Philadelphia, Eric is also a proud supporter of West Virginia University.