By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
PHILADELPHIA – With the Philadelphia Soul, any wide receiver could have a big night. On Saturday night, Ryan McDaniel had the big game.
He had five touchdowns and helped the Soul stay perfect on the season (3-0). Philadelphia defeated the expansion team, the Baltimore Brigade, 69-34 in front of 11,833 fans at the Wells Fargo Center.
McDaniel had eight receptions for a 123 yards and five touchdowns. Soul head coach Clint Dolezel credits the Brigade’s man-to-man coverage for the game.
“Whoever they decide not to play zone on, that’s who is going to get the ball,” he said. “They played him man and they paid for it. That’s what every one of our four receivers are going to do to you if you try to play them man-to-man.”
McDaniel was the only receiver with a score. Shaun Kauleinamoku, Darius Reynolds, Chris Duvalt and Mykel Benson combined for 84 yards.
“Ryan played great,” Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh said. “I’m blessed to have those four playmakers out there with me. It makes my job a lot easier. Ryan and I have been playing together for a long-time and we have a good repair. We’ve been on the same page, but haven’t been able to connect and have a big game together. Ryan prepares like a pro every week — and they all do. Whosever’s name is called, they’re willing to answer the bell. I’m looking forward to each of them having big games every week.”
In the first two games of the season, McDaniel had a combined 133 yards and a touchdown. He had 87 yards in the season opener against the Tampa Bay Storm.
“We’ve been playing together for five-years,” he said. “We have some chemistry — and you’ll see at times where we’re off. It just happens. We have receivers we can rotate. We got the best receivers in the league right now. If he throws us the ball, we’re going to make the play and get in that zone.”
McDaniel helped the Soul get a big first-half lead. However, late in the half, the Brigade was able to battle back. At one point, Baltimore had the game within seven points early.
“Us holding serve and getting the ball [to begin the second half] made a big difference,” Dolezel said. “It was not panic mode for us. We knew we already had a couple of stops and had a couple of scores. We don’t obviously want to let them back in it with them making it a seven-point game at one point. That’s Arena Football. Things are going to happen crazy out there. Just like we got up, they came right back.”