ALBANY, N.Y. – The Baltimore Brigade (4-3) handed the Albany Empire (6-1) their first loss the season, 42-41, Saturday night at Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. Brigade quarterback Shane Boyd was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, throwing for 261 yards and six touchdowns, tying a season high set in Week 1.
“We had fun out there tonight,” Boyd said. “Guys did their jobs. We built off last week and we did what we needed to do. We’ll celebrate this one, but we need to continue to build as we hit the second half of the season.”
Brigade wide receiver Joe Hills set season highs in receptions (13), receiving yards (137) and receiving touchdowns (4) and was named Offensive Player of the Game. The performance marked his 99th straight game played with a receiving touchdown.
Albany got on the board first as quarterback Tommy Grady found wideout Quentin Sims for a 30-yard touchdown on the game’s opening possession. Boyd connected with Hills for a 25-yard score on the ensuing possession, tying the game at seven. After Brigade DB Josh Victorian intercepted Grady, Hills found the end zone for a second time, giving Baltimore a 14-7 lead. Offense dominated the second quarter as both teams traded touchdowns, each quarterback throwing a pair of scores, giving Baltimore a 28-21 lead heading into halftime.
Baltimore opened the second half with a four-play, 45-yard scoring drive capped off with a 21-yard touchdown from Boyd to wideout Brandon Collins, giving Baltimore a 35-21 lead less than three minutes into the third quarter. Empire wideout Malachi Jones caught his first touchdown of the game on the following possession, cutting the lead to one score. After another Collins touchdown put the Brigade up 42-28, Albany scored on consecutive drives, but missed an extra point on their second touchdown to set the score at 42-41 with five minutes remaining. Turnovers committed by both teams in the final minutes prevented any further scoring and propelled Baltimore to victory.
The Brigade are back in action next weekend, taking on the Columbus Destroyers on Saturday, June 15 at 3:30 p.m. at Nationwide Arena. Baltimore won the teams’ only prior matchup this season, 48-30, in Week 3.