PHILADELPHIA – It came down to the wire but the Philadelphia Soul (5-4) moved one step closer to securing a playoff spot on Saturday night, defeating the Columbus Destroyers (1-8) 42-35 at Nationwide Arena. The victory coupled with the Blackjacks loss to Albany earlier in the day means Philadelphia needs to win just one of its remaining three games in order to clinch a postseason berth.
Needing a victory to keep their slim playoff chances alive, Columbus came out strong, keeping pace with the Soul early. A big first half by wide receiver BJ Bunn, who recorded a career-high 116 receiving yards (101 of which came in the first half), helped Philadelphia to a 27-21 halftime lead. However, the team struggled early in the second half, as both of its third-quarter drives ended in interceptions.
Fortunately for the Soul, James Romain’s team-leading fifth and sixth interceptions of the season limited Columbus to just a single touchdown in the quarter, keeping Philadelphia within one entering the fourth.
While a nine-play, 45-yard scoring drive put Columbus up 35-34 and took over six and a half minutes off the clock midway through the fourth quarter, the Soul responded quickly. On the first play of the team’s next possession, Dan Raudabaugh connected with Jordan Williams for a 45-yard touchdown. The quarterback then found Lonnie Outlaw on the two-point conversion attempt, giving Philadelphia a seven-point lead with just over four minutes remaining. Raudabaugh would finish 14-23 for 227 yards and four touchdowns.
While the Soul’s onside kick attempt was recovered by Columbus, the defense forced fourth and goal before Dwayne Hollis’ fourth interception of the season sealed the victory for Philadelphia.
Next up, the Soul will host the Albany Empire at the Wells Fargo Center on June 29th at 3:30 pm.