The Baltimore Brigade showed off a much improved offense with a 61-56 win over the Washington Valor.
Last season, the Brigade offense got off to a very slow start. Injuries to quarterback Shane Carden and wide receiver Reggie Gray killed their hopes of making a deep playoff run. On opening night, on the first possession, the Brigade offense showed their might as they marched down the field and scored a touchdown, led by Randy Hippeard in his debut with the Brigade.
Washington’s ultimate demise came following Hipppeard’s first touchdown as Brigade quarterback, a deep shot to Kendrick Ings. They couldn’t handle the ball after it bounced off the rebound net and Baltimore recovered. Hippeard would score again to make it 14-0.
The two beltway rivals went back and forth up and down the field the rest of the game, as the Valor countered with newly acquired quarterback Nick Davila. The three time MVP and Arena Bowl champion accounted for seven touchdowns in his first game in the AFL since losing ArenaBowl XXIX to the Philadelphia Soul.
He threw a touchdown to his favorite receiver in Rod Windsor to cut the lead to five late, but the Brigade ran the clock out, interestingly by becoming the first team to run the clock out by taking a knee in AFL history as the practice is now legal.
The first Beltway game ends in a shootout. Next week, the Valor host the expansion Albany Empire. The Brigade are at Philadelphia.