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Storm comeback tops Soul, 56-49

Saturday June 7, 2014

 Big Fourth-Quarter Comeback Sends Philadelphia Home With a Loss

TAMPA (June 7, 2014) – Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh’s pass to Ryan McDaniel fell incomplete in the endzone as the final horn sounded as the Philadelphia Soul (6-6) fell to the Tampa Bay Storm, 56-49, in front of 11,062 fans at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Storm outscored the Soul, 22-0, in the final quarter for the victory. Philadelphia’s Derrick Ross finished with three rushing touchdowns and set the AFL career touchdown rushing mark at 129 in the losing effort.

“We made enough plays to win this game,” said Soul head coach Clint Dolezel. “But, we have to win the fourth quarter and finish. We didn’t do that tonight.”

Dan Raudabaugh finished the night by completing 30-of-47 passes for 353 yards and four touchdowns and one interception. Leading the Soul receivers was J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game, Ryan McDaniel with 10 receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Tiger Jones finished with eight receptions for 120 yards and one touchdown. Emery Sammons had six receptions for 65 yards, while V’Keon Lacey tallied four receptions for 40 yards.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game, Derrick Ross had a record-setting night with his 13 carries for 27 yards with three rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. He now stands at 129 career rushing touchdowns, surpassing former record holder and AFL Hall of Famer, Barry Wagner’s 127.

Joe Goosby led the defense with 2.0 total tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Rayshaun Kizer added 3.0 total tackles and a pass breakup. James Romain chipped in with 3.0 total tackles and a pass breakup.

The Storm were led by QB Randy Hippeard, who connected on 14-of-26 passes for 217 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception. T.T. Toliver led Tampa Bay receivers with five receptions for 77 yards and two touchdowns. Joe Hills had six catches for 67 yards and four touchdowns, while Amari Jackson added three receptions for 73 yards and one touchdown.

Philadelphia opened the scoring when Ross capped a seven-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Soul a 7-0 advantage. The Storm answered with Hippeard found Hills on a 21-yard scoring strike to tie it at 7-7. The ensuing Soul drive was stopped when James Harrell intercepted a Raudabaugh pass and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown, giving the Storm a 14-7 lead. Raudabaugh led the team back and connected with McDaniel on a 2-yard touchdown to make it 14-14 with 2:40 remaining in the first. Hippeard found Hills on a 16-yard score to end the first quarter scoring and gave the Storm the 21-14 lead.

Ross entered the record books again when he plunged in from a yard out with 10:40 left in the second quarter, giving him 128 career touchdowns and tying the game at 21-21. Hippeard coneected with Toliver on a 13-yard score, but the missed the extra point and giving the Storm a 27-21 lead. Raudabaugh to Jones for an 8-yard score on the next drive gave the Soul a 28-27 advantage. Joe Goosby’s strip and fumble recovery gave the Soul the ball. Raudabaugh hit Ross on an 8-yard touchdown for the final score of the half. The Soul’s LaRico Stevenson then recovered and onsides kick and were stopped on the goal line with no time left, but still led 35-27 at the break.

Tampa Bay opened the second half scoring when Hippeard hit Jackson on a fourth-down, 40-yard touchdown, making the score, Soul 35, Storm 34. Soul got on the board when Ross scored on a 5-yard run, making it 42-34 with 7:40 left in the third. The Soul defense forced a turnover on downs and capitalized when Raudabaugh hooked up with McDaniel on a 14-yard touchdown and gave the Soul a 49-34 lead after three quarters of play.

The fourth quarter was a different story as the Soul’s final four offensive possessions ended with two turnover on downs, a missed field and an incomplete pass on the game’s final play. The Storm put up 22 points in the fourth quarter, including a two-point conversion by Hippeard, while shutting out the Soul to come away with the 56-49 victory.

Next week, the Soul will return home to host East Division rival Pittsburgh Power on Saturday, June 14 at 6 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player: Philadelphia’s Derrick Ross
Riddell Defensive Player: Tampa Bay’s James Harrell
J Lewis Small AFL Playmaker: Philadelphia’s Ryan McDaniel
Cutter’s Catch of the Game: Tampa Bay’s Joe Hills TD catch off the net in the fourth quarter
Spalding Highlight of the Game: Philadelphia’s Rayshaun Kizer’s INT off the net in the fourth quarter

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.