By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
PHILADELPHIA, PA. – Larry Brackins had one of his better games in the Arena Football League.
Brackins earned the start with Donovan Morgan no longer a starting wide receiver for the Philadelphia Soul. Morgan signed a contract with the Virginia Destroyers in the United Football League recently and did not play in the game.
Brackins helped the Philadelphia Soul beat the Cleveland Gladiators, 49-21, last night at the Wells Fargo Center. The game was televised live on the NFL Network
“I think we’ve always played with a purpose,” said Soul head coach Mike Hohensee. “Sometimes, we had lapses in these other games. I thought up front, we were ready to play. We knew watching film that we had some things on them defensively. I thought we tackled well and I thought our receivers stepped up without Donovan. Brackins was a kid that I wanted to feature a little more (last night). He didn’t disappoint. I thought he did a great job.”
The win tied the series between the two teams. Both teams won at their home facilities. Also, both teams have won by double-figures against the other.
Brackins had nearly as many points as the entire Gladiators team. He has had a touchdown reception in each of the last 5 games that he’s appeared in.
His three touchdown game was his best game of this season. His previous best game of this season was in Week 4 against the Milwaukee Mustangs when he had 7 receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
“That’s all I needed was a shot,” said Brackins. “I went out and showed my talent (last night).”
His last three touchdowns game was in the National Conference Championship in 2008. He had 7 receptions for 92 yards and three touchdowns against the Gladiators.
Brackins career-best is a five-touchdown game that came in 2007. On June 9th, 2007 at the Tampa Bay Storm, he had 8 receptions for 95 yards and five touchdowns.
Besides the three passing touchdowns to Brackins, Soul quarterback Ryan Vena also had two rushing touchdowns. Syvelle Newton had the team’s other rushing touchdown.
“Coach called better plays (last night),” said Brackins. “I thought with Donovan being out, I had to step up. I thought that was the case.”
Soul kicker Jon Striefsky made two field goals on the night. He made both field goals in the second quarter.
Those were Striefsky’s first made field goals in his AFL career. The field goals were also the Soul’s first since Week 4 at the Milwaukee Mustangs by kicker James Paul.
Striefsky’s only mishap was when he missed an extra point in the third.
The Soul defense was not outdone by the Soul offense. The defense got on the board when they recorded a two-point safety when Gladiators quarter Kurt Rocco was sacked in the end zone.
The safety was one of seven sacks for the defense. This is a new record for the Soul in a game.
The previous record for sacks in a game was five on April 3rd, 2005 against the Columbus Destroyers.
The defense also set another record at the end of the 1st half. The Soul allowed the fewest amount of points in the 1st half when the team allowed just 7 points to the Gladiators.
The Gladiators touchdown came in the first quarter. The Soul defense did not allow a touchdown in the second quarter.
Rocco connected with Troy Bergeron twice in the game for touchdowns. They connected on the first and last touchdowns for the Gladiators.
Rocco added a rushing touchdown in the third quarter.