The Washington Valor entered today’s game searching for answers. The expansion franchise entered today having lost four straight games. It didn’t help that they had to play the defending champion Philadelphia Soul.
To add on, Washington was without quarterback Erik Meyer, and wide receivers Mike Washington and T.T. Toliver. Despite all of Washington’s injuries, they would not let the Soul take over.
Sean Brackett, who is starting for Meyer, got the Valor going in the first quarter. He connected with Greg Carr, who broke a tackle to score a touchdown, which put the Valor up 7-0. The Soul would respond, as Dan Raudabaugh found Ryan McDaniel in the end zone, which tied the game and gave Philadelphia’s quarterback his 40th touchdown pass of the season.
After the Valor turned it over on downs, Raudabaugh hooked up with Shaun Kauleinamoku to a give Philly a 14-7 lead. All of a sudden, the Soul were up two touchdowns after Raudabaugh and McDaniel connected for a touchdown once again. The Valor would stop the bleeding, and they would score 21 unanswered points to regain the lead.
Greg Carr caught two touchdowns during this stretch, and Josh Reese recovered a fumble for a touchdown to give the Valor a 28-21 advantage. The Soul made sure that lead didn’t last for long, as Chris Duvalt returned the next kickoff to tie the game at 28 heading into halftime.
The Soul would quickly take control in the third quarter. Mykel Benson would run in for a touchdown, and Darius Reynolds would score after a Brackett fumble to give Philadelphia a two possession lead.
The Valor wouldn’t go down without a fight. Carr caught his fourth touchdown of the day, and Reese scored his second touchdown, but a missed extra point would keep the Valor down 42-41. The Soul took a one possession lead when Reynolds caught his second touchdown of the game. Philadelphia failed to convert the two-point conversion, so the Valor still had a chance.
Washington would take advantage of the failed two-point conversion, when Brackett connected with Roger McClain to bring the Valor within a extra point. Washington would botch the snap, and they missed the extra point. Instead of going to overtime, Philadelphia would escape with a 48-47 victory over the Valor.
This loss will hurt for a struggling team that nearly beat the defending champions, but they can take some positives from this game. Washington was able to hang with the champs despite not having three key offensive players. The Valor are now losers of four straight, but they still have time to turn the season around.
The Soul are riding high, as they have yet to lose a game this season. Two Soul receivers reached career milestones in this game.
Kauleinamoku now has 6,000 receiving yards for career, while McDaniel caught his 100th touchdown of his career. Washington (1-5) will take on the Cleveland Gladiators next week, while the Soul will have a bye week.