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Soul fall in overtime thriller to Arizona, 65-55

Sunday March 16, 2014

 Ross Sets Team Mark With Six Rushing Touchdowns in Defeat

PHOENIX (March 15, 2014) – Arizona’s Nick Davila found Tyson Poots on an 14-yard touchdown on the first drive of overtime, while Riddell Defensive Player of the Game Jeremy Kellem intercepted Philadelphia QB Dan Raudabaugh on the first play of Philadelphia’s possession to give the Rattlers a 62-55 victory over the Soul (0-1) at the US Airways Center on Saturday night in front of 7,088 fans Opening Night.

“We played a solid game, but we have to learn how to finish games -- mentally,” said Soul head coach Clint Dolezel. “We did some positive things, but can’t be satisfied. We will get back at it next week and get ready for San Jose.”

Philadelphia FB Derrick Ross finished with 46 yards and a team record six rushing touchdowns on 12 carries. Tiger Jones led all Philadelphia receivers with nine receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown. Ryan McDaniel added five receptions for 69 yards and one touchdown. Rookie V’Keon Lacey had four catches for 67 yards, while Larry Brackins finished with three receptions for 29 yards.

Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh finished the night by completing 22-of-35 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns and one interception.

Defensively, LaRico Stevenson finished with 7.5 total tackles, including a tackle for a loss. Rayshaun Kizer had 6.0 total tackles and two pass breakups. Rookie Teddy Jennings added 2.0 total tackles, a fumble recovery and his first career sack.

Davila finished completing 25-of-41 passes for 338 yards and seven touchdowns. Maurice Purify had 11 receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown, while Poots finished with 10 receptions for 191 yards and four touchdowns on his way to Offensive Player of the Game honors.

The Soul defense started early by forcing a Davila fumble on the Rattlers first series with the recovery made by Jennings. Ross punched in from three yards out to give the Soul a 6-0 lead. Arizona answered when Alex Singleton and put the Rattlers up 7-6. The two teams exchange touchdowns and end the first quarter with Arizona leading 14-13.

Davila connected with Windsor on an 11-yard touchdown to extend the Rattler led to 21-13 with 9:11 remaining in the second quarter. Philadelphia answered when Raudabaugh found Jones on a 5-yard touchdown to narrow the score to 21-20. A nother Poots touchdown and a Ross touchdown ended the first half scoring with Arizona lead 28-27.

In the third quarter, Philadelphia got a McDaniel 29-yard touchdown catch and Ross 1-yard rushing touchdown to take a 41-35 lead after three quarters.

Arizona tied the game at 41-41 with the first score of the fourth quarter when Davila scored from a yard out. After turning it over on downs, Arizona scored again when Poots hauled in a 9-yard touchdown giving the Rattlers a 48-41 lead with 11:24 left in regulation. Ross’ pair of 1-yard touchdowns sandwiched an outstanding defensive effort that forced a turnover on downs.

But Ross’ second score – his sixth of the game – came with 23 seconds remaining. That left enough time for Arizona. The Rattlers capitalized when Davila found Poots on a 34-yard scoring strike with eight seconds remaining in regulation, tying the score at 55-55. Arizona went on to score in overtime and force the Soul’s only turnover and ended the game.

The Philadelphia Soul will travel to San Jose next week to face the SaberCats on Sunday, March 23 at 8 p.m. ET. The game can be seen on ESPN3.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player: Arizona’s Tyson Poots
Riddell Defensive Player: Arizona’s Jeremy Kellem
J Lewis Small AFL Playmaker: Arizona’s Marquis Floyd
Cutter’s Catch of the Game: Arizona’s Rod Windsor third quarter touchdown catch
Spalding Highlight of the Game: Arizona’s Kerry Reed’s game-winning interception in overtime

ABOUT PHILADELPHIA SOUL

The Back-to-Back American Conference Champion Philadelphia Soul are presented by Parx Casino. They capped their eighth Arena Football League season by capturing their second straight American Conference championship. For 2014 season tickets, contact the Soul sales department at (215) 253-4900 ext. 3, or request contact from a representative by filling out the form on www.philadelphiasoul.com. Follow the Soul on Facebook at facebook.com/soul and Twitter at twitter.com/soulfootball.