PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Soul ended their 13-1 regular season with momentum into the AFL playoffs, after their 41-28 win over the Tampa Bay Storm. The Soul won all three meetings this season against the Storm.
"I thought we got after the quarterback a lot better," Soul head coach Clint Dolezel said after the game, "I thought we handled ourselves pretty well and we'll be ready for Baltimore."
Philadelphia's LB Beau Bell broke the team's regular season sack record , previously held by former DL Bryan Robinson. Beau, UNLV, racked up 12.5 sacks this season and knows how much Philadelphia has been a benefit to him since he joined the team.
"It feels good because I know it's a team effort," Beau said. "Guys on the line like Sean Daniels, have helped me accomplish it because they know how to get pressure on the quarterback."
QB Dan Raudabaugh threw for 145 yards with two total touchdowns, before being subbed out at halftime by QB Luke Collis. Collis finished the second half with 107 yards and two touchdowns. One of Collis' touchdowns included a 40 yard bomb to WR Darius Reynolds.
After leading by 13 at the half, the Soul opened up the second half with an interception by DB Kent Richardson. Collis would then throw a 15 yard touchdown pass to Reynolds to extend Philadelphia's lead to 20.
Tampa Bay only scored 14 points in the second half.
Storm QB Randy Hippeard only played one possession before being replaced by QB Chris Bonner. Bonner threw for four touchdowns and 227 yards, including a wide open 41 yard touchdown to WR Justin Hilton.
Tampa Bay finished the regular season at 10-4 and will host the 5-9 Cleveland Gladiators in the first round on August 13th at Amalie Arena. The last meeting between both teams was on July 8 in Cleveland, where the Gladiators inched a close 41-39 victory. The Storm won their season series against the Gladiators by 2-1.
The Soul will host the Baltimore Brigade on August 12th, at the Wells Fargo Center. While Baltimore may be the only team that the Soul lost to this season, Philadelphia still won three out of the four games between the two teams. In their last meeting, the Soul won 70-21.
"We were fortunate enough to put a drop on [Brigade] last time we played them but you never know because it's the playoffs," Raudabaugh said referring to their last game on July 29th. "We're going to come out and get it rolling."