The Philadelphia Soul’s road to an ArenaBowl title seemed to have been one of the easiest roads in league history. They had a very talented team and did just what they needed to do with it.
Philadelphia was dominating opponents left and right, getting off to a 10-0 start. Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh led the league in several passing categories, but unfortunately, he also threw 10 interceptions. That’s not a stat he would like to see.
Wide receivers Darius Reynolds, Shaun Kauleinamoku and Ryan McDaniel were all there to back Raudabaugh up. All three of them caught at least 20 touchdowns (35 for Reynolds, 23 for Kauleinamoku, 20 for McDaniel).
They also acquired running back Mykel Benson from the Arizona Rattlers. Benson was with Arizona in ArenaBowl XXIX, when they lost to the Soul. For the second consecutive season, he led the league in rushing, including 23 touchdowns.
Following their lone loss to the Baltimore Brigade, the Soul won the remainder of their regular season games by an average of 23 points. Despite the Brigade keeping it close in their semifinal matchup, Philadelphia prevailed to advance to ArenaBowl XXX.
They got off to a really rough start as Raudabaugh missed his receivers often. Reynolds also dropped two wide open touchdown passes, one on a fourth down. After a pick-six, the defending champions found themselves down 20-7.
They wouldn’t go down that easy, however. They would go on a 28-7 run, including a couple turnovers on downs from Tampa Bay. In the end, they would defeat Tampa, 44-40 to win their second consecutive ArenaBowl title.
An unlikely hero became the key to their victory in the game. Former Lehigh Valley Steelhawks wide receiver Darius Prince was named the MVP of the game, catching two touchdowns.
There’s already room for concern, however. Owner Ron Jaworski said postgame that Raudabaugh played the second half with a torn ACL. That could mean he could miss time in 2018. Nonetheless, the Soul will be going for their third consecutive title in 2018.