Valor Fall, 55-41, to Empire
Friday June 29, 2018
Valor host Brigade next Saturday in final game of regular season
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Valor lost, 55-41, to the Albany Empire Friday night at Capital One Arena. Valor quarterback Arvell Nelson threw for 303 yards, accounted for six total touchdowns and was named Offensive Player of the Game. Empire quarterback Tommy Grady threw for seven touchdowns, earning the game’s Most Valuable Player award.
“The biggest problems came in the second quarter,” Valor Interim Head Coach said after the game. “We had the fumble and the interception that really stopped us from taking over the game. We have to take care of those mistakes. Guys fought through, guys showed they want to win. We just have to have a full team effort.”
Washington took a 7-0 lead on a 12-yard touchdown rush by Nelson, capping a five-minute drive to open the game. After Valor defensive back Oshay Dunmore tallied his first interception of the season, Washington extended its lead to 14-0 on a 19-yard pass from Nelson to wideout Christ Duvalt. Albany dominated the second quarter, scoring three consecutive touchdowns – all Tommy Grady passes – to take a 20-14 lead. Empire wideout Malachi Jones, who entered the game second in the AFL in receiving yards, caught two of those three touchdowns. Nelson found newly signed wideout Doug McNeill III for his first of two touchdown receptions on a three-yard score with just 39 seconds left in the half, but Albany answered, scoring with just 15 seconds left on the clock to take a 27-20 lead into halftime.
Albany opened the second half with a time-consuming, seven-minute drive that ended with Grady’s fourth touchdown pass of the night and the only score of the third quarter. Offense dominated the fourth quarter as each of the six possessions ended in touchdowns – three for the Valor and three for the Empire. Just six seconds into the fourth, Nelson found wideout Reggie Gray for his 16th receiving touchdown of the season, bringing the Valor back within a touchdown, 34-27. Grady answered quickly, finding wideout Joe Hills for an eight-yard score. Four minutes later, Nelson connected with wide receiver Josh Reese for a 15-yard touchdown pass. Reese totaled nine receptions for 98 yards and the one touchdown. Jones caught his third touchdown of the night with just over five minutes left in the game, giving Albany a 48-34 lead. Washington and Albany traded touchdowns in the final minute to set the final score at 55-41, Empire.
MVP: ALB QB Tommy Grady – 19/24 passing, 256 yards and seven touchdowns
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: WAS QB Arvell Nelson – 27/42 passing, 303 yards and six total touchdowns
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: ALB LB Terence Moore – 12 total tackles, one sack and one forced fumble
The Valor play their final game of the regular season next Saturday, July 7 at 3 p.m. at Capital One Arena. The game will be broadcast live on Monumental Sports Network, NBC Sports Washington, AFL Now and Facebook Watch.
ABOUT THE WASHINGTON VALOR
The AFL’s Washington Valor are owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports. The company also owns and operates the NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the NBA G League’s Capital City Go-Go, the AFL’s Baltimore Brigade, NBA 2K League’s Wizards District Gaming, as well as Capital One Arena, the premier sports and entertainment venue in Washington, D.C. Monumental Sports & Entertainment is also co-owner of aXiomatic, which has controlling interest in global esports franchise Team Liquid, and oversees the management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex--the training facility for the Washington Capitals--and the Eagle Bank arena at George Mason University.