Defense lifts Soul to victory over Shock, 54-43
Sunday April 5, 2015
Philadelphia Starts Season 2-0; Home Opener Next Week Against Jacksonville
SPOKANE, WA (April 4, 2015) – The Philadelphia Soul used a strong second-half defensive showing and capitalized on turnovers as they defeated the Spokane Shock, 54-43 in front of 8,635 fans at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, WA on Saturday night.
“It is always tough to get a win in a hostile environment like Spokane,” Soul head coach Clint Dolezel said. “Obviously, we have some things to clean up offensively, but the defense stepped up for us tonight, especially in the second half. We will enjoy this, but our attention will be focused on Jacksonville next week in our home opener.”
J. Lewis Small Playermaker of the Game Marco Thomas led the Soul (2-0) receivers with 14 catches for 146 yards and one touchdown. Ryan McDaniel added eight catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Shaun Kauleinamoku had two receptions for 30 yards and one touchdown, while Xavier Boyce chipped in with two receptions for 24 yards, two touchdowns and an onsides kick recovery. Tommy Taggart added 17 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game, Dan Raudabaugh finished the night by completing 27-of-47 passes for 305 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. Spokane’s Jarrett Brown completed 7-of-14 passes for 89 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and two rushing scores before being relieved by Matt Bassuener, who added 3-of-11 passes for 49 yards, one touchdown pass and one rushing touchdown.
Mike Washington led the Shock (0-2) receivers with four receptions for 66 yards and one touchdown, while Rashad Carter added three catches for 27 yards and one touchdown.
Joe Goosby led the team with 4.0 total tackles LaRico Stevenson had 4.0 total tackles. Justin Lawrence added a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss, while Bryan Robinson had a key second-half interception.
After winning the toss, the Soul deferred and kicked off to the Shock to start the game. The Shock’s Ruschard Dodd-Masters fumbled and it was recovered by Beau Bell. Soul capitalized when Adam Smith recovered a Soul fumble in the endzone to give the Soul a 7-0 lead.
Pressure from Bell and Lawrence helped force a turnover on downs on Spokane’s first official possession with 7:21 remaining in the first quarter. The very next play, Raudabaugh found McDaniel on a 25-yard play to give the Soul a 14-0 lead with 6:21 remaining in the first. The Shock got on the board when Brown ran a score in from 10 yards out, making it 14-6 after the missed extra point to end the first quarter scoring.
A tipped Raudabaugh pass led to a Shock interception and a Brown 8-yard touchdown run to narrow the score to 14-13 with 13:10 left in the second quarter. The Soul answered when McDaniel took a fourth down pitch in from five yards out, but Spokane recovered a bad snap for a two-point play to make the score 20-15 Soul advantage with 8:46 remaining in the half. New kicker Tommy Frevert pulled off a perfect onsides kick that was recovered by Boyce.
Raudabaugh found Kauleinamoku on a 25-yard scoring strike to give the Soul a 27-15 lead with 6:20 remaining in the half. Spokane responded when Brown hit Nick Truesdell on a 45-yard touchdown pass to narrow the score to 27-22 with 5:05 left in the second. The Soul turned it over on downs and Brown found Washington for a 9-yard scoring play to take a 29-27 lead with 1:18 left. Raudabaugh found Boyce on a 4-yard touchdown with :03 to end the first half scoring and gave the Soul a 34-29 halftime lead.
Tommy Taggart started off the third quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run and made the score 40-29 after the blocked extra point. James Romain then came up with a huge interception on the next Shock possession and the Soul capitalized quickly as Raudabaugh connected with Thomas on an 18-yard touchdown giving Philadelphia a 47-29 lead.
The Soul defense stiffened up when Bryan Robinson intercepted a pass on the next possession, but Philadelphia turned it back over on downs. The Shock scored when Matt Bassuener found Rashaad Carter on a 7-yard score to bring the score closer, but still a 47-36 Soul lead at the end of the third quarter.
Another tipped pass resulted in an interception by Dodd-Masters at the 11:16 mark swung momentum back to the Shock. But, Philadelphia’s defense, again, stepped up to the task and stopped Spokane on downs with 5:51 left in the game. The Soul added another score when Boyce pulled in his second touchdown from Raudabaugh from 20 yards, giving Philadelphia a 54-36 lead. Bassuener added a 9-yard scamper with :42 left to make the final score to 54-43.
Next week, the Soul have their home opener on Sunday, April 12 when the Jacksonville Sharks (0-2) come to Wells Fargo Center. The game will kick off at 4 p.m.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player: Philadelphia’s Dan Raudabaugh
Riddell Defensive Player: Spokane’s Devon Dace
J Lewis Small AFL Playmaker: Philadelphia’s Marco Thomas
Cutter’s Catch of the Game: Spokane’s Nick Truesdell’s 45-yard touchdown
Spalding Highlight of the Game: Philadelphia’s Tommy Frevert’s onside kick that was recovered by Xavier Boyce.
ABOUT PHILADELPHIA SOUL
The Philadelphia Soul are entering their 10th Anniversary Season. Season and Group tickets for the Soul’s upcoming 2015 season are on sale now. For 2015 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.