By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
PHILADELPHIA, PA. – One point. That’s how much the Philadelphia Soul has lost in there past two weeks.
In addition, both losses came to the American Conference-leading teams. The Soul lost, 69-68, at the Wells Fargo Center to the Cleveland Gladiators today.
“We were in position to win tonight,” said Soul head coach Clint Dolezel of the final play. “We knocked the ball down but they made the catch – it is as simple as that. Luck has not been on our side, but we have to keep grinding to make it to the playoffs.”
This was the Soul’s third loss in a row, and all three losses have been by less than 10 points. Besides the loss to the Gladiators, the Soul (6-8) lost 57-56 to the Pittsburgh Power last week at home after losing 56-49 to the Tampa Bay Storm three weeks ago.
Both losses to the Gladiators (12-1) have been by three points. Memorial Day weekend, the Soul lost 54-42 at Quickens Loans Arena in Cleveland, also on a game-winning touchdown as time expired.
“It’s not just this game, we’ve been doing it all year long,” added Dolezel. “We’ve lost games like that all year. The frustration is overwhelming right now.”
The Soul was leading 68-63 when the Gladiators received the ball back. After a kickoff that went into the stands, Cleveland received the ball, and the following play, quarterback Shane Austin throws a 47-yard touchdown pass to Dominick Goodman to win 69-68.
“From the looks of it, they’re one play better than us,” Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh said. “I’m not taking any credit away from them. That’s just tough right there.”
Two seconds prior, the newly acquired wide receiver Markee White gave the Soul a 68-63 lead with a 3-yard touchdown reception.
Cleveland used back-to-back touchdowns in the final minute to go from 62-50 to 63-62. Collin Taylor received a 2-yard touchdown pass from Austin, before Thyron Lewis caught a 28-yard touchdown reception.
Taylor also added a 7-yard touchdown reception in the fourth, while Derrick Ross started the Soul fourth quarter with a 1-yard rushing touchdown. At 3:06, V’Keon Lacey caught a 7-yard touchdown from Raudabaugh.
In the third quarter, the Soul only scored once. Yet, they were leading by 10 points to open the quarter, before Lewis scored on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Austin. That was followed by a Ross 1-yard touchdown by Ross, with Goodman capping the scoring in the third with a 17-yard touchdown from Austin.
Each team traded touchdowns in the second, as each team scored three times. The Soul was down to begin the game, and then went on to end the first quarter with a 20-12 score.