Valor Recap: Valor Fall To The Empire
A much closer game then their last meeting with the Empire, the Valor were only one score behind until the third quarter, it was very much a game of back and forth. Washington quarterback Warren Smith Jr. displayed more confidence this time around, completing 19-of-28 passes for 227 yards and five touchdowns, he also picked up 23 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown. TT Toliver caught two of those touchdowns on three receptions and 34 yards.
After the game I asked Head Coach Dean Cokinos about Washington's continued struggles in the third quarter. “The thing was to get into the half within a score or a lead, and to come out with the ball and get control of the game again. We started really well, we had it on the 1 yard line and the game changed. I think we came out and played really good to start but we didn't finish the drive, so that's a concern. Every game something has gone wrong before the half that's carried over to the third quarter in the first three games. This week we wanted to make sure we'd try to get into the half with a close game then try to get to the fourth, we didn't punch it in, we didn't finish that drive, so we need to work on that.”
The Empire kept it rolling all night and answered every time Washington scored. Quarterback Tommy Grady completed just 16-of-24 passes for seven touchdowns and 257 yards, for the second time in as many weeks he was voted MVP of the Game. Wide Receiver Malachi Jones is steadily looking like the number two receiver in Albany, Jones had three touchdowns on six receptions and 120 yards, he also ran one in before the half. Malachi was also voted Offensive Player of the Game. Wide receiver Joe Hills? Another multi-score game, two touchdowns on seven receptions and 112 yards, he has now scored a touchdown in 84 consecutive games and leads the league in receiving touchdowns. The Valor continue their home stand next weekend against the Baltimore Brigade on Saturday, May 19th.
Jon studied Business Management at the University of Pittsburgh and is originally from Maryland. An avid DMV sports fan, he often attends Capitals, Orioles, Wizards and Redskins games. Now a Washington Valor season plan holder and columnist for ArenaFan, he`ll be at every home game covering the team. He spends his free time with friends and family and freelancing graphic design projects. You can follow Jon on Twitter @5FIFTY3