Sharks take a bite out of Soul, 74-67
Saturday July 18, 2015
Raudabaugh Throws 500th Touchdown in Defeat
JACKSONVILLE (July 18, 2015) – The Philadelphia Soul (13-3) had two late costly turnovers and couldn’t hold off the Jacksonville Sharks (8-7) in the second half as they fell 74-67 in front of 9,475 fans at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday night.
“This is not the way we wanted to go into a Bye Week,” Soul head coach Clint Dolezel said. “Late turnovers will always kill you, but more importantly, it is about finishing a game. This needs to be playoff mode for us. We can’t make the mental mistakes this time of year. Jacksonville is a playoff-quality team and we will need to learn from the mistakes we made and get healthy.”
Marco Thomas led the Soul receivers with 10 catches for 105 yards. Ryan McDaniel had six receptions for 67 yards and three touchdowns, while Harvey Binford had six receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. Adam Smith had two receiving touchdowns and Xavier Boyce chipped in with two catches for 24 yards and a touchdown. Tommy Taggart added 13 rushing on six carries and two rushing touchdowns for the Soul on offense.
Raudabaugh finished the night completing 26-of-40 passes for 305 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions. Raudabaugh’s third touchdown marked his 500th career scoring pass. Jacksonville’s Tommy Grady completed 18-of-29 passes for 301 yards, seven touchdowns and no interception.
Tiger Jones led the Sharks receivers with eight receptions for 148 yards and three touchdowns, while Joe Hills added six catches for 115 yards and three touchdown.
James Romain led the defense with 5.5 total tackles, while Dwayne Hollis had 3.0 total tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. LaRico Stevenson had 5.0 total tackles and 145 return yards on special teams.
The Soul defense came out and forced a fumble on Grady at the Soul’s one-yard line to give Philadelphia the first turnover of the game. The Soul capitalized with a six-play, 40-yard drive that ended when Taggart plunged in from a yard out to give Philadelphia a 7-0 lead with 5:19 remaining in the first quarter. After a failed surprise onsides kick, Grady found Jones on a 17-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-7 with 4:16 left in the first. Raudabaugh connected with Binford on a 46-yard scoring strike to give the Soul a 14-7 lead to end the first quarter scoring.
Jacksonville opened the second quarter when Grady found Hills across the middle of the endzone from 11 yards out to tie it at 14-14 with 14:13 left in the second quarter. Raudabaugh to Boyce for a 14-yard touchdown capped a two-play, 35-yard drive and gave the Soul a 21-14 lead with 12:08 left in the half. The Sharks answered when Grady hit Hills on a 45-yard touchdown to tie it back up at 21-21 at the 10:05 mark. Raudabaugh hit McDaniel on a one-yard touchdown for his 500th of his career and the missed extra point gave Philadelphia a 27-21 lead.
Dwayne Hollis forced and recovered a Jacksonville fumble on the following kickoff to give the Soul their second turnover of the game. Taggart made the Sharks pay when he capped the Philadelphia drive with a one-yard touchdown to push the Soul lead to 33-21 with 3:41 in the half. Grady found Hills on another 4-yard crossing route that found the endzone, but the missed extra point only narrowed it to a 33-27 Philadelphia lead.
Raudabaugh rushed in from two yards out to give the Soul a 39-27 lead, but Sharks answered for the final score of the half when London Crawford scored on a 7-yard pass from Grady to make it 39-33 at the half.
Philadelphia opened the third quarter when Raudabaugh hit McDaniel on a 15-yard touchdown and pushed the lead to 46-33 with 12:56 left in the third. Derrick Ross capped a nearly 10-minute Shark drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 46-40 in favor of the Soul. Raudabaugh found Adam Smith with a 10-yard touchdown to make it 53-40 with 2:38 left in the third. Grady hit Jones on a 39-yard score to end the third quarter with Philadelphia leading 53-46.
Raudabaugh hit McDaniel on a 21-yard touchdown to open the final quarter and gave the Soul a 60-46 lead with 12:51 left. Sharks answered with a Grady-to-Jones 39-yarder to make it 60-53 Soul advantage with 10:30 remaining. The Sharks’ Greg Reid interception was returned 50 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 60-60 with 8:08 remaining. On the next possession, Reid, again, stepped in front of a Raudabaugh pass to give the Sharks the ball with 6:37 left. Ross then converted a 3-yard touchdown to give the Sharks their first lead at 67-60 with 4:01 left in the game. Soul came back when Raudabaugh found Smith in the back of the endzone to tie it at 67-67 with 47 seconds remaining. Ross scored with 34 seconds left to make the final score 74-67.
Next week, the Soul will be on their second and final Bye of the season before they return home to face the New Orleans VooDoo at 4 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, August 2. The game will be televised on The Comcast Network.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player: Jacksonville’s Tommy Grady
Riddell Defensive Player: Jacksonville’s Greg Reid
J Lewis Small AFL Playmaker: Jacksonville’s Greg Reid
Cutter’s Catch of the Game: Philadelphia’s Harvey Binford’s 46-yard TD in the first quarter.
Spalding Highlight of the Game: Jacksonville’s Greg Reid 50-yard INT return for a TD.
ABOUT PHILADELPHIA SOUL
The Philadelphia Soul are celebrating their 10th Anniversary Season. Single-game and Group tickets for the Soul’s final home and playoff game are on sale now. For 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.