Undefeated Soul Stunned by Brigade, Suffer First Loss of Season
BALTIMORE – There is a first time for everything.
Unfortunately for the Philadelphia Soul, that first was a tally in the loss column. The Soul (10-1) suffered their first defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Brigade (4-6) 49-42 after winning 17 straight games dating back to last season.
With a lead heading into halftime, it seemed like a foregone conclusion the Soul would hold strong and go on to continue the quest for perfection. No team in Arena Football League history, has ever achieved a perfect season; not since the 2002 San Jose Sabercats has a team gotten this close to perfection.
However, the Brigade made sure the Soul would not be writing their names in the history books.
After Baltimore found a way to tie the game at 35 a piece late in the third quarter, Brigade quarterback Shane Carden found his man in Milton Williams for the go ahead score as the third quarter came to a close.
Trailing 42-35, Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh, who has seemed perfect all season long, made his first critical mistake of the ball game as he tossed an interception and gave possession back to Baltimore. Carden would find Reggie Gray for a touchdown that put the game out of reach for Philadelphia as Raudabaugh was unable to recover from his previous mistake.
Soul wide receiver Darius Reynolds led all with eight receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Shaun Kauleinamoku added five receptions for 42 yards and three touchdrowns and Ryan McDaniel tallied four receptions for 70 yards. Baltimore WR Brandon Thompkins led his team with six receptions for 93 yards and one touchdown.
After the game, the usual blunt Soul head coach Clint Dolezel did not sugar coat the teams worst performance of the season.
“Tonight was not one of our best performances,” Dolezel said. “We will need to shake off this loss, correct our mistakes and prepare for next week.”
With just three games remaining and a playoff spot already secured, the Soul are looking to lock up home field advantage throughout the postseason to give them the best possible route to a second consecutive Arena Bowl title.
Philadelphia returns home next week when they host the Washington Valor (1-9) before their final bye week of the regular season.