The Home of Arena Football Fans since 1998

Valor put up a Valiant effort, but lose to the Philadelphia Soul

Steve Rudden
Sunday April 23, 2017

The Washington Valor was looking to go 2-0 to start the season, but ran into the defending AFL Champion, Philadelphia Soul at the Verizon Center in Washington DC.

The Valor put up a very good fight and showed that they have what it takes to compete with the big dogs of the AFL, but tonight wasn’t enough as they lost to the Soul 49-31 in front 12,122 fans.
The Valor lead 21-7 after the 1st quarter.  Bernard Morris, Tracy Belton, and Mike Washington all scored touchdowns for the Valor to give them the big advantage over the Soul.
Morris started the scoring with a 1 yard run, then a minute later, Tracy Belton intercepted Dan Raudabaugh to make it 14-7, and to cap off the scoring for the Valor in the 1st quarter was a pass from Erik Meyer to Mike Washington to make it 21-7.
The 14-point lead wouldn’t last very long as the Soul quickly responded in the 2nd quarter.  Dan Raudabaugh threw a 5-yard pass to Darius Reynolds to make it a 21-14 ballgame. 
“Good first half for us,” said Washington Valor Head Coach Dean Cokinos  “The game is all about possessions, so as we saw in the second half, they made more plays than we did”
It would be a back and forth game until Philadelphia took control of the game in the 3rd quarter while Washington couldn’t get their offense going in the 2nd half.
“This is our first time together playing with a little bit of adversity and we will learn from this game,” said Cokinos. “We will move on to Cleveland next week so it was a good second step for us as an organization.”
Dan Raudabaugh led the way for the Philadelphia Soul with 247 yards passing with 5 touchdown passes.  Wide Receiver Darius Reynolds hauled in 3 of Raudabaugh’s touchdown passes.
 For the Washington Valor, Erik Meyer threw for 268 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Meyer was also sacked 4 times, some of them at crucial times of the game.  Mike Washington had another impressive game with 9 receptions and 2 touchdowns for a total of 125 yards receiving.
The next game for the Washington Valor is April 28th when they travel to Cleveland to face the Gladiators for the first road game in team history.
A personal view from an AFL newbie
This was my first AFL game and the experience was amazing.  I was impressed with how much of the focus is getting the fans involved in the game.  The players loved the attention from the fans, whether It was taking selfies with fans, to high-fiving youngsters on their way to the bench.
After the game is a whole different story!  The fans are allowed onto the field and have the opportunity to get autographs from the player’s, while they have a selfie station, as well as dance music playing.
I will definitely be going to more AFL games in the future and I’m going to tell everyone that I know that they must go, especially if they have kids.

Steve studied Electronic Media and Film at Towson University. He is a native of the DMV and is a huge Orioles, Ravens, Nats, Caps, Wizards, and now Valor Fan. He writes for is own personal sports blog at You can follow Steve on twitter @steverudden.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
Steve Rudden Articles
The Valor Special Team wasn’t very special in loss to the Soul
Valor put up a Valiant effort, but lose to the Philadelphia Soul
View all articles