Philadelphia Soul Press Release | Photo via: Baltimore Brigade Twitter
PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Philadelphia Soul (3-1) fell to the Baltimore Brigade (3-1) at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD with a score of 31-21. This is the first Soul defeat of the 2018 season. The last time the Brigade defeated the Soul was on July 8, 2017, the only loss of the Soul’s 2017 championship season.
Although the Soul began the game in possession, any early momentum was lost when Brigade DL Rodney Fritz caused a fumble by Soul FB Adrian Ferns, resulting in a recovery by the Brigade DL Royce Lafrance. The Brigade took advantage of this opportunity when QB Randy Hippeard found FB Rory Nixon in the end zone for the first touchdown of the game, giving the Brigade an early lead of 7-0 with 8:31 left in the first quarter. Hippeard has totaled 75 completions on 109 attempts for 808 yards and 17 touchdowns this season.
The Soul gained momentum back with the next drive, led by veteran QB Dan Raudabaugh. Raudabaugh connected with WR Darius “Money” Reynolds, with Ferns for a carry and WR Shaun Kauleinamoku for a five-yard touchdown, making the score tied at 7. Raudabaugh continues to have a great start to the 2018 season with 67 completions on 93 attempts for 764 yards and 17 touchdowns.
On the Brigade possession with barely a minute left in the first quarter, Soul DL and former Brigade, Robert Hayes sacked QB Hippeard. The Brigade maintained possession for the start of the second quarter and started strong with a reception by WR Milton Williams for a 28-yard touchdown, putting them back on top with a score of 14-7.
The Soul replied by moving the ball down the field with two receptions by Reynolds and a 30-yard touchdown reception by WR Darius Prince, tying the score at 14. Prince currently leads the league in receiving yards (252) and receptions (23).
One Hippeard sack was not enough for Soul’s Hayes, as he sacked Hippeard for the second time with 10:12 remaining in the second quarter. The Brigade continued the drive with a series of receptions by WR Brandon Collins and WR Brandon Thompkins. The drive ended with a diving catch over the wall for a touchdown by Thompkins, making the score Soul 14 – Brigade 22.
The Soul looked to end the half on a high note when Raudabaugh connected with Reynolds for 10 yards and with Ferns who completed a 16-yard carry. However, Brigade DB Joe Powell intercepted a pass by Raudabaugh in the end zone as the clock ran out.
After the Soul held off the Brigade in the first drive of the second half, the Brigade returned the favor and got the defensive stop to end the second drive. Baltimore struck back with a 42-yard touchdown reception by WR Quentin Sims, giving them a lead of 28-14.
With the Soul back in possession, Ferns squeezes into the end zone from one yard out for a touchdown, making the score Soul 21 – Brigade 28.
The Brigade responded with an 18-yard rush by Hippeard, who was then sacked for the third time by Soul’s Hayes in the next play. Hippeared connected with Collins, giving the Brigade a first down on the one-yard line. Brigade K Mark Lewis kicked a field goal for 21 yards, putting them in the lead with a score of 31-21.
Although Raudabaugh connected with Prince and Kauleinamoku in the fourth quarter, it was not enough to give the Soul the lead they were hoping for.