June 27, 2015, 1:17 AM | Written by Anthony Caruso III
PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Soul has done it again. They played horrible, to their standards, in the first half of the past two games.
However, in the second half against the Los Angeles KISS and the Tampa Bay Storm on Friday night, they showed who the better team was. Against the KISS, they won by 8, before winning by 22 in front of 8, 214 people at the Wells Fargo Center.
The team will be off next week, as is the rest of the league. Then, they will return on Saturday, July 11th at 1 pm against the Cleveland Gladiators at home.
The fourth quarter was all the Soul, as the team scored 27 points. The highlight of this quarter was when Bryan Robinson picked up a fumble recovery and took it to the end zone for a touchdown.
“We expected to get after [Jason Boltus],”said Soul head coach Clint Dolezel. “Teddy’s [Teddy Jennings] getting pressure over there and he’s flushing them to [Robinson]. And he’s doing the same thing for Teddy. We’re getting that push up the middle and it makes it tough.”
After Dolezel got into them, Ryan McDaniel scored on a two-yard touchdown, before Robinson had a safety. This gave the Soul their first lead and they never looked back.
Following Robinson’s safety, Lonnie Outlaw had a 9-yard touchdown. Then, Julius Gregory added a second touchdown – this one for 14-yards – before Marco Thomas ran through the Storm defense and was wide-open for a 45-yard touchdown.
Dan Raudabaugh completed 23-of-39 passes for 274 yards and eight touchdowns, and he currently leads the AFL with 94 touchdowns. Thomas, who wasn’t on the right page with Raudabaugh in the first half, finished with 10 receptions for 116 yards and three touchdowns.
It was his fifth straight game with at least three touchdowns. In addition, he leads the AFL with 34 receptions for the team’s free agent signing.
At one point in the second quarter, the Storm led 21-7 following a Gregory touchdown. Harvey Binford caught a 34-yard touchdown to make it 21-14 going into the break.
“They stunk in the first half,” Dolezel added. “We couldn’t do anything. In the second half, the offense played darn well. Dan [Raudabaugh] read the ball well, threw it where he needed to. Guys caught the ball. That’s more like us in that second half.”
With the win, they know they’ve made the playoffs. However, that is not good enough for the team, who has goals of winning the championship. Should the Cleveland Gladiators lose later tonight, the Soul would click the American East Division.
If the Gladiators win, then the Soul would have to wait until the 11th to clinch it at home.
“It feels good but that’s not the ultimate goal,” Raudabaugh said. “It’s the first goal of many that we set going into training camp. Check one off the list, but that’s about as minute of a goal as we set.”