PHILADELPHIA – Dan Raudabaugh showed why he is the best quarterback in the Arena Football League.
On a night where the Philadelphia Soul looked like they would suffer their first loss, Raudabaugh kept the team afloat and led a 59-49 comeback victory over the Cleveland Gladiators to give the Soul an 8-0 record.
Trailing 28-23 at halftime, Philadelphia looked sloppy. Seemingly for the first time all year, it looked like the loss column was going to feature the number one.
Head Coach Clint Dolezel was the first to point out the teams poor play in the first act but quickly rebounded to praise the teams resilience in the second half.
“This was a little slower start off a bye week than I had expected, but I’ll take the win,” Dolezel said. “I am impressed with how we stepped up in the second half and we are ready to take on the second half of the season.”
Boy did they step up in the second half. Raudabaugh went off after halftime as he finished he night with 303 yards and seven touchdowns on 20 of 27 throwing.
Oh yeah, he also became the fourth fastest and youngest quarterback in AFL history to eclipse 30,000 passing yards. Dolezel praised the milestone.
“He’s a student of the game,” Dolezel said. “That goes for putting all of the work in. He deserves everything he’s getting.”
While Raudabaugh was pleased with his achievement, he focused more on improving after a hard fought win over Cleveland.
“We didn’t really wake up until the second half,” Raudabaugh said. “That I was disappointed in but our defense played really well to keep us in the game.”
Other key players came in the form of the wide receivers. Darius Reynolds led the receivers with nine receptions for 144 yards and four touchdowns. Ryan McDaniel added six receptions for 72 yards and one touchdown and Shaun Kauleinamoku tallied five receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
Reynolds seems to be getting MVP status from Raudabaugh. He has become the go to man in the Soul’s offense.
“He’s a really great player,” Raudabaugh said. “He is a leader with a stick. When’s he really on, it gets the whole team going.”
With another victory under their belts, the Soul prepare for Tampa Bay (7-1) next week.
“With Tampa coming in we know we have a fight,” Dolezel said. “We are going to have our hands full and we have to be ready.”