Philadelphia, PA – The Philadelphia Soul improved to 5-0 at the expense of the Baltimore Brigade at the Wells Fargo Center tonight. Baltimore played significantly better than their April 29th visit to Philadelphia, where the Soul handily routed them to the tune of 69-34. The Brigade struck first when rookie quarterback Shane Carden connected with Julian Talley on a flag route during the first drive. Coming off an impressive 8 touchdown performance in Cleveland, Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh’s first pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Josh Victorian to give Baltimore an unexpected 14-0 lead. Raudabaugh’s woes continued the next drive as he overthrew two consecutive receivers, leading to a turnover on downs, en route to a one completion first quarter.
The Soul would finally get on the board early in the 2nd quarter as Raudabaugh hit Dariu Reynolds for his first of three trips to the end zone, but Carden responded with a 43-yard touchdown pass to the Brigade’s new signing, Kendal Thompkins. Philadelphia would tie the score with consecutive touchdown passes to Ryan McDaniel, while the Brigade turned it over with a Shane Carden thrown interception. Carden would atone for his mistake by means a fake hand-off quarterback sneak with three seconds remaining in the half to take a well-deserved 28-21 lead going into the dressing room.
Philadelphia evened up the score at 35-35 by the end of the third quarter, which then led to an action-packed, and rather unpredictable, fourth. The teams exchanged touchdowns as Carden and Raudabaugh found their strides, but with three minutes left, and the game tied at 49, Philadelphia coach Clint Dolezel called for a surprise onside kick that was recovered by Baltimore. His apparent lack of confidence in the defense, though not unwarranted, gave the Brigade the ball on the 5, and Carden ran for a touchdown in a near mirror play of his second quarter score. On the subsequent kick off, Soul returner Chris Duvalt broke open down the right side for a huge gain before being brought down by a horse collar tackle at the 4-yard line. After a third Ryan McDaniel touchdown, when it seemed the Soul had tied the game up, kicker Adrian Trevino ringed an extra point off the upright, leaving the Brigade still up one point with only 42 seconds left.
Baltimore collected the onside attempt by Trevino, and the game seemed decided with the ball in Baltimore’s on Philadelphia’s 5-yard line and less than 40 seconds remaining. But drama reared its head again as Shane Carden fumbled the first snap, and Soul defensive lineman Sean Daniels recovered the ball, running it in the end zone for an improbable 39-yard touchdown to seal a Philadelphia victory.
The Brigade will feel the final result did not reflect their effort, as a series of miscues and missed tackles handed their rivals their undefeated 5th win, while Baltimore sunk to 1-4 on the season. Dan Rudabaugh’s second consecutive 8 touchdown game led to MVP honors for the night. Philadelphia plays home against Cleveland next, and Baltimore squares off against Cleveland as well after a bye week.