PHILADELPHIA – On a night the Philadelphia Soul were looking to add on to their 19 game home winning streak, it would be the contributions of two recent additions that would push that number to a nice even 20. Fullback Adrian Ferns and wide receiver Aaron Wascha would each provide a couple of scores in the game, propelling the Soul to a victory over the Washington Valor.
Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh connected with Wascha for a 44-yard touchdown in his first score of the evening. Following a turnover on downs for the Valor on the next possession, Ferns would run it in from three yards out for his first score. And neither player was done yet.
Wascha would also haul in an eight-yard touchdown pass, and in a pivotal play early in the third quarter, forced a Valor muff on the kickoff return that would bounce back into the end zone for a safety. While Wascha is new to the Soul roster this year, he was around the team last year until an injury derailed his season.
“It was about the fourth day of training camp and I ended up pulling my hamstring, so my season got cut short last year,” Wascha said. “You have two choices when that happens, you can let it happen or you can get back to work and come back the next year, and that’s what I did.”
Having made it back to the team, Wascha says that the play calls the team runs make it very easy to play the game.
“It’s great,” Wascha said. “The team itself, all you gotta do is be in the right spot and our system takes care of itself so we’re a very unselfish team. Sometimes you take yourself covered to open up somebody else. It happened to be me getting the ball tonight and I made the most of my opportunities.”
Ferns, the other key player in the offensive column would find himself on the score sheet with two more scores, including another touchdown run and a reception from Raudabaugh. Ferns said that the effort from other players, specifically the linemen, contributed to him having a big night.
“Credit to those two guys, Aaron [Wascha] and [Adrian] Ferns. They did a wonderful job, but that’s kind of how we prepare. There’s only 24 guys on the team so everyone gets a lot of reps at practice,” Raudabaugh, who is in his ninth season, said after the game. “Ferns has been chomping at the bit to get out there, and you saw what he can do. And then credit to Aaron. You know Aaron almost made the team last year. he came to camp with us, got a little injury, wasn’t able to stick around, and [it] only made him hungrier.”
While Ferns is new to the Soul, this isn’t his first time being around head coach Clint Dolezel. Ferns played against Dolezel in the Chinese Arena football league when he was a member of the Shenzen Naja (Now the Wuhan Gators) while Dolezel was coaching the Beijing Dragons.
As a result of their efforts, The Valor would get no closer than a 7-7 tie early in the first quarter. Other key plays in the victory included Soul Defensive Back Bryce Peila grabbing a live ball off the net and running it in for a score, and a sack of Nick Davila by fullback and linebacker Jeramie Richardson.
“We always prepare as if [each player] is going to be the go-to guy, whoever it is,” Raudabaugh said. “Our guys are always ready and that’s a credit to our preparation and coach calling good plays and me just getting the ball in the hands of playmakers.”
The Soul (3-0) will go on the road next week to face the Baltimore Brigade (2-1), While the Valor (0-2) will be on the road against the Albany Empire (0-2), with both teams looking for their first win of the season
Philadelphia Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh was 17 of 22 on completions in the game for 207 yards and 5 touchdowns, while his Washington counterpart Nick Davila was 15 of 26 for 156 yards and four touchdowns. Adrian Ferns had ten rushing attempts for 55 yards and three touchdowns while Aaron Wascha totaled nine receptions for 105 yards and two scores – (via Philadelphia Soul).