By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
PHILADELPHIA, PA. – The Philadelphia Soul are out to their first 4-0 start since the 2008 season. The last time they’ve accomplished this feat, they went on to win the ArenaBowl Championship.
The team’s focus has been getting back to the ArenaBowl, which they hope will have better results the third time around in recent years. The team took a big step in getting back with a win over the Cleveland Gladiators.
The Soul defeated the Gladiators, 63-48, last night at the Wells Fargo Center.
This is the third time that the Soul has started the season 4-0. Besides this season and the 2008 campaign, they’ve also started the 2007 season with a 4-0 mark.
This win could mean something moving forward, as the Soul currently has a two-game lead over their arch-rivals within the conference. They dropped to 2-2 with the loss with back-to-back losses.
Last year, the Soul lost all three times to the Gladiators, who won each game on the final play of the game. All three were by a combined five points.
Following a Collin Taylor touchdown, the Gladiators failed to convert on an on-side kick. Xavier Boyce returned the ball and the Soul ran out the clock.
Shaun Kauleinamoku put the Soul up 23 at 63-40 after a touchdown reception. Jermaine Richardson put the team within 16 at 56-40, before SK’s touchdown.
The Soul would score back-to-back touchdowns with by Boyce and McDaniel. Taylor would also catch back-to-back touchdowns by Shane Austin that made it 42-27.
Before Taylor’s two touchdowns, the Soul scored three straight. Following a Boyce on-side kick recovery, Tommy Taggart Jr. scored to make it 28-20. After halftime, Marco Thomas scored two straight touchdowns.
Once the score was 13-7, Ryan McDaniel scored on a rushing touchdown, before Raudabaugh hit him for a receiving touchdown minutes later. Austin would cut the lead to 21-20 with a touchdown to ex-Soul wide receiver Andrae Thurman.
“He’s turned it around,” Dolezel said of Raudabaugh, who surpassed 20,000 passing yards in his Arena Football career. “He’s always been good, but he’s put his heart and soul into it. He came in this year in great shape. He’s doing the little things on and off the field. He’s a great leader. If he keeps playing like this, we’re going to be a hard team to beat.”
Both teams would trade touchdowns in the first quarter. However, following Cleveland’s second touchdown, their kicker Adrian Trevino missed an extra point to make it 13-7.