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Soul Stuffed By Wranglers

Jason Moyer
Saturday April 1, 2006

The Philadelphia Soul returned to the Wachovia Center after a four game road trip, which spanned a total of 37 days between home games. The Austin Wranglers spoiled the homecoming party as they stopped FB/LB Wes Ours on a fourth down from the one yard line en route to a 43-38 victory.

"Anytime you can’t score inside the two yard line, three times, you’re gonna lose," stated quarterback Tony Graziani.

The key to the play may have come from the Austin coaching staff. The Wranglers made a late substitution, rushing FB/LB Torrance Marshall onto the field replacing WR/LB Sedric Robinson. As Ours attempted to plunge into the end zone, Marshall and the rest of the Wranglers clogged the line and thwarted Philadelphia’s effort.

"Wes Ours is 330 pounds and we’ve got a good group up front," observed Head Coach Bret Munsey about the play. "We need to be able to get a half-yard. For some reason we weren’t able to do that."

Philadelphia had scored 38 out of 47 times in the red zone coming into the game, with 32 of those scores resulting in touchdowns and half of those (16) coming on the ground.

"We work that area a lot in practice," acknowledged Coach Munsey. "In arena football, that is the toughest place to score. We got to go back to the drawing board."

What may be more troublesome for Philadelphia is the inconsistent play they exhibit. Not just week to week, but also within the game. The Soul opened up a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but stumbled out of the gate after halftime allowing Austin to seize the momentum.

"You got to play four quarters and we have to find a way to do that," acknowledged Munsey. "For some reason, we’ve come out in the second half in a couple of games now and haven’t played well."

"It worries me a great deal," declared Graziani. "To win a championship, you’ve got to win three or four games in a row. We can’t even win two in a row right now."

Graziani’s point is well taken. Philadelphia has not won consecutive games since opening the season 2-0 and in their last five games has been on a lose one, win one pattern. Perhaps team management might consider renaming the team the Philadelphia Yo-Yo’s if the inconsistency continues.

Inside the Numbers

Mike Brown (PHI) hauled in 11 catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns.

Tony Graziani (PHI) completed 29 of 42 passes for 269 yards and four touchdowns.
Wes Ours (PHI) rushed five times for 22 yards and one touchdown.

Derrick Lewis (AUS) snared eight receptions for a game high 150 yards and four touchdowns.

John Fitzgerald (AUS) finished 23 of 38 for 296 yards and six touchdowns.

Next Week

The Soul will host the Chicago Rush on Sunday, April 9th. The game is set to kickoff at 1:00.

Jason Moyer is an elementary school teacher in the western New Jersey area. He is an avid follower of the Arena Football League and has been covering the Philadelphia Soul with since 2005. Jason resides in Whitehall, PA with his wife and daughter.
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.
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