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Valor Win Regular Season Finale, 41-35, Over Brigade

Saturday August 5, 2017

 Smith scores six touchdowns in first start since 2015

— The Washington Valor closed out their inaugural season with a 41-35 victory over the Baltimore Brigade Friday night at Royal Farms Arena. WR Roger Jackson caught a 13-yard pass from QB Warren Smith with under a minute remaining to seal the victory. Jackson was named the game’s MVP for his 10-catch, 94-yard and two-touchdown performance. Smith threw for 229 yards and five touchdowns to go along with a rushing touchdown and was named Offensive Player of the Game.

The Valor got on the board first, scoring what would be the only points of the first quarter, when WR T.T. Toliver caught a 16-yard pass from Smith just over four minutes into the game. Washington extended its lead to double digits with 7:41 left in the first half as Smith found WR Josh Reese for a 24-yard touchdown. A pair of Baltimore scores – WR Brandon Collins’ touchdown reception and a DB Varmah Sonie’s nine-yard interception return – tied the game at 14 with just over three minutes left in the half. Each team found the end zone in the final minute of the second quarter, setting the halftime score at 21-21.

A 25-yard touchdown pass to WR Reggie Gray represented the only scoring of the third quarter and gave the Brigade a 28-21 lead. The Valor scored just four seconds into the fourth quarter as WR Charles McClain caught a four-yard pass from Smith. Gray countered with his second score of the night, retaking the Brigade lead with under 12 minutes remaining. Washington, however, scored the final two touchdowns of the game, both by way of the Warren-Smith-to-Roger-Jackson connection. Jackson scored on a 24-yard catch and run with 7:10 left on the clock and on a 13-yard pass with just 39 second left to give the Valor the 41-35 lead. A goal-line stand by the Valor as time expired sealed the victory.

MVP: Washington Valor WR Roger Jackson – 10 receptions, 94 receiving yards and two touchdowns
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Washington Valor QB Warren Smith – 21-25 passing, 229 yards and six total touchdowns
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Baltimore Brigade DB Varmah Sonie – 10 total tackles, four pass break-ups and two interceptions

On the season and the team’s future
“We have a model here and we’ve been building all year. We had a lot of injuries, we lost our first two quarterbacks during the year and we lost a bunch of tight games. Our whole goal is to get younger players and as we built throughout the year we got younger players. We had seven rookies playing tonight and those three offensive linemen it was all their first games tonight. For us it was the first step into next year to keep building our core base of players. We’re really building our whole organization and it was nice to end it going into next year on a positive note. The goals have never changed for us we want to build something.”

On ending the season with a win
“Any time you end the season on a high note with a win, it projects your team in a good direction for the offseason. They had their ups and downs this year obviously. I just got here three weeks ago, so I just tried to come here and help out as much as I can. I thank coach for giving me a chance tonight and the ownership, my teammates played their tails off for me. It’s really good to go forward with a win to the offseason.