PHILADELPHIA, PA — The Baltimore Brigade (1-1) dropped a 54-49 final to the defending-champion Philadelphia Soul (2-0) Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Brigade quarterback Randy Hippeard threw for 278 yards and five touchdowns, including two to wideout Brandon Collins. Philadelphia wide receiver Darius Reynolds was named Offensive Player of the Game for his 151-yard, four-touchdown performance.
After Philadelphia scored on the game’s opening possession, the Brigade answered with a pair of Hippeard-to-Collins touchdowns, taking a 14-6 lead less than a minute into the second quarter. Collins’ scores of 22 and 38 yards earned him his first multi-touchdown game of the season. Fullback Jeramie Richardson’s one-yard rush brought the Soul back within a point before Brigade wideout Quentin Sims grabbed his second touchdown of the season – a 15-yarder from Hippeard with just over five minutes left in the second quarter. Baltimore’s onside kick attempt on the following possession failed, setting up Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh’s second touchdown pass of the night – a 10-yard throw to wide receiver Darius Prince – bringing the score to 21-20, Baltimore. On the ensuing kickoff Philadelphia attempted an onside kick of their own, but Brigade defensive back Joe Powell grabbed the ball out of the air and walked it in for a touchdown, giving Baltimore a 28-20 lead with 1:29 left in the first half. Raudabaugh found Reynolds for another score on the next possession, bringing the Soul within one point going into halftime.
Brigade wideout Brandon Thompkins tallied his first kickoff return touchdown of the season, extending Baltimore’s lead to 35-27 on the first play of the second half. Consecutive Philadelphia touchdowns – both passes by Raudabaugh – gave the Soul a 41-35 lead with 10:11 left in the game. Baltimore regained the lead, 42-41, with just over five minutes remaining on a short pass from Hippeard to tight end Jordan McCray. Richardson found the end zone once again on another one-yard rush, giving Philadelphia a 48-41 lead with one minute left in the game. Hippeard found wide receiver Milton Williams across the middle of the field for an 11-yard touchdown to retake the lead, 49-48, with 31 seconds left on the clock. A pair of Reynolds catches covered 34 yards, setting up Philadelphia with a chance to win. On second down from the nine-yard line, Raudabaugh found Reynolds at the goal line for their fourth scoring connection of the night, giving the Soul a 54-49 lead with 12 seconds remaining. Philadelphia held Baltimore out of the end zone on a Hail Mary attempt as time expired to seal the win.
KEY STAT: The Soul were 4-5 on 3rd down conversions, compared to the Brigade’s 1-5 performance.
KEY MOMENT: With time running out in the second quarter, Philadelphia held Baltimore out of the end zone of four-straight plays from within the Soul’s 10-yard line. Keeping the differential at one point heading into halftime.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: PHI WR Darius Reynolds – 11 receptions, 151 yards and four touchdowns
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: PHI DB James Romain – four solo tackles
The Brigade are back in Baltimore next weekend, hosting the Albany Empire on Saturday, April 28 at 3 p.m. at Royal Farms Arena. The game will be broadcast live on Monumental Sports Network and AFL Now.