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Empire snaps Soul’s 21-game home win streak

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Philadelphia, Pa. — The Philadelphia Soul have lost back-to-back games. More importantly, the Soul had their 21-game home win streak snapped on Saturday night.

The Albany Empire defeated the Soul, 41-36, at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia.

“It was very similar to Baltimore,” Soul head coach Clint Dolezel said. We missed a lot of plays that were put in front of us on offense. Our defense played well, especially early on. They gave us a chance to put the game away in the first quarter, but we didn’t do it. That’s on us on the offensive side.”

Albany Empire

Albany Empire

The Soul’s last home loss before Saturday night came on Monday, April 11th, 2016 against the Jacksonville Sharks. The Sharks won 59-41.

The Soul fell to 3-2 on the season. Philadelphia now trails the Baltimore Brigade, who is 4-1 this season, and these two teams will face off on Friday night in Baltimore, Md.

“We have a bunch of veterans,” Dolezel said. “We’ll prepare like we always do. We have a short week this week, so we won’t have a lot of time to prepare, but I’m not concerned. Baltimore has a short week, too. We’ll have to go with who we got.”

Philadelphia is also tied in the standings with the Empire, as both teams stand with a 3-2 record. In two meetings between each other this season, the road team has won, as the Soul won the season opener in Albany on April 14th.

Empire quarterback Tommy Grady went 18 of 34 for 178 yards. He also had five touchdowns and an interception.

Joe Hills had nine receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown. Malachi Jones had seven receptions for 63 yards and two touchdowns — and a rushing touchdown. Jordan Williams had a 25-yard touchdown reception.

Wesley Mauia also had an 18-yard touchdown reception. Mauia also had four rushing yards.

Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh went 18 of 32 for 220 yards despite batting a non-throwing shoulder injury. He also had three touchdowns and two interceptions.

“Dan is obviously beat up,” Dolezel said. “He had some throws that he was favoring his shoulder. We’re obviously worried about it. We’ll look a little bit deeper into that this week. We’ll see what the right move is for him.”

Raudabaugh was replaced in the fourth quarter by Greg McGhee. He went 6 of 9 for 48 yards and two touchdowns.

“Just getting your feet wet — getting that first snap and first hit out of the way,” McGhee said. “That kind of calmed my nerves. I’ll be back in the lab on Monday and get ready for Baltimore.

“Dan is an excellent mentor. He knows a lot more than I do in this offense. It’s always great to hear from him in practice and the game [last night]. We still have Clint as a head coach — and he’s also a guru of the game. We’ll follow his lead.”

Darius Prince had 11 receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Shaun Kauleinamoku also had six receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown. Darius Reynolds also had four receptions for 56 yards.

Aaron Wascha had three receptions for 23 yards and two touchdowns.

Adrian Ferns had eight rushing yards, while McGhee also had seven rushing yards.

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