Philadelphia Soul press release
PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Philadelphia Soul (1-0) toppled the Albany Empire (0-1) in front of 13,648 fans at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY with a final score of 56-35.
Soul got the scoring started when QB Dan Raudabaugh connected with Shaun Kauleinamoku to give the Soul the early 7-0 lead. The Empire responded quickly as Empire QB Tommy Grady found WR Greg Carr for the first touchdown in Albany Empire history
The Soul turned right around as Raudabaugh found WR Darius Prince to put the Soul back on top with a score of 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The Empire answered with Grady finding WR Collin Taylor in the end zone to tie the score at 14 after the first possession of the second quarter.
After trading touchdowns from WR Greg Carr for the Empire and both WR Darius Prince and FB Jeramie Richardson and with the score Soul 28-21, momentum seemed to shift when Soul DB Torez Jones stepped in front of a Tommy Grady pass for the Soul’s first takeaway of the season. They capitalized on this turnover with another Darius Prince touchdown, his third of the first half, and went into the locker room at halftime with a 35-21 lead.
The Empire received the opening kick of the second half but spoiled that opportunity as a backwards pass from Grady fell to the ground, which resulted in a fumble recovery for DB Torez Jones. The Soul took advantage of this opportunity when Raudabaugh found WR Darius “Money” Reynolds in the end zone to make the score 42-21.
After a big run by Empire FB Wes Mauia, WR Doug McNeill III got the Empire on the board in the second half, bringing the score to Soul 42 – Empire 28.
On their next possession, the Soul attempted a field goal that missed wide right. However, in a twist of Arena Football fate, the ball made its way out of the end zone and was recovered by OL Neil Tivis who took it in for the touchdown. The Soul lead 49-28.
Veteran QB Grady responded by finding WR Malachi Jones for an impressive catch & run touchdown, getting the Empire to within two scores at the end of the third quarter with the score now 49-35 with the Soul ahead.
To open the fourth quarter, the Empire held strong inside the 5-yard line forcing a turnover on downs. Just when the Empire seemed to pick up momentum, Grady threw an incomplete pass that was too high for his intended receiver. Raudabaugh capitalized on that lost momentum and threw a touchdown pass to Kauleinamoku.
The Soul went on to win this first game of the 2018 campaign by the final score of 56-35.
Raudabaugh opened up the 2018 campaign with a solid performance that earned him Offensive Player of the Game honors. He finished with 22 completions on 37 attempts for 236 yards and 6 touchdowns.
DB Torez Jones was name Defensive Player of the Game after recording one interception, one fumble recovery and 5.5 tackles.