Despite a head coaching and quarterback change this week for the Washington Valor, the results were the same as the Baltimore Brigade squeaked out a 42 to 41 win at Capital One Arena in a seesaw battle. The Brigade improve to 4-1 on the season while the Valor drop to 0-5.
Shane Austin got the start at quarterback for the Valor in place of former NAL MVP Warren Smith Jr. and was effective by accounting for six total touchdowns with two of those on the ground with his legs. Valor wide receiver Reggie Gray torched his former team with 12 receptions for 171 yards and four touchdowns. It wasn’t enough though as Brigade quarterback Randy Hippeard tossed four touchdowns on the day and the speedy wide receiver Brandon Thompkins came through with three touchdown receptions of his own.
Washington held the lead at halftime 27-21 but Baltimore took the lead early in the second half and never trailed the rest of the game. A critical 4th and Goal stop by the Valor with 41 seconds left in the game gave them a chance to pull ahead but four consecutive incompletions by Austin gave the Brigade back the ball with 27 seconds left. This season’s rule change allowed the Brigade to take a knee within one minute remaining to run out the clock and preserve the win.
Next week Baltimore tries to make it two wins in a row against the defending Arena Bowl Champion Philadelphia Soul at home at Royal Farms Arena on Friday May 25 while Washington looks for their first win of the season away against Tommy Grady and the Albany Empire at the Times Union Center on Saturday May 26.