BALTIMORE, MD — The Baltimore Brigade are now 7-3 after losing 56-49 to the Albany Empire (6-4). It was the first home loss of the season for the Brigade. Baltimore and Albany each won two games in the series and are now in a tight race with two games remaining in the regular season which will determine the AFL playoff seeding.
Baltimore started out strong with WR Brandon Thompkins scoring the first touchdown of the game off of a 41-yard pass from QB Randy Hippeard. After a tight first quarter with the teams tied at 14, Albany scored the first two touchdowns of the second quarter when QB Tommy Grady found WR Malachi Jones for a 10-yard pass with 11:21 remaining in the second quarter. Grady followed with a 24-yard pass to WR Joe Hills at the 5:21 mark to extend Albany’s lead to 28-14. Baltimore’s Hippeard completed an 8-yard pass to WR Brandon Collins with 11 seconds remaining in the half, bringing the Brigade within one touchdown.
Both teams were scoreless for most of the third quarter until an Albany touchdown with 5:23 remaining in the quarter gave the Empire a 35-21 lead. Baltimore scored a touchdown of their own at the 3:38 mark on a 31-yard pass to Collins. Albany closed out the third quarter on a 7-yard pass to Hills with 43 seconds left in the quarter, extending their lead to 42-28.
Baltimore outscored the Empire 21-14 in the fourth quarter and attempted a comeback with back-to-back touchdowns in the last two minutes of the game. Collins finished with 10 receptions for 131 yards and three touchdowns while Hippeard was 24-of-41 with one interception for 292 yards and six touchdowns, including one rushing for the Brigade.
Albany QB Tommy Grady was 14-for-20 for 199 yards and seven touchdowns on his way to earning MVP honors while WR Joe Hills was the offensive player of the game for his 6 receptions for 76 yards and four touchdowns. Teammate Marrio Norman was named defensive player of the game for his 10 solo tackles performance.
MVP: ALB QB #4 Tommy Grady 14-20 199 yards 7 TD
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: ALB WR #81 Joe Hills 6 catches 76 yards 4 TDs
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: ALB #21 Marrio Norman 10 solo tackles
The Brigade will take on the Philadelphia Soul on Saturday, June 30 followed by a game against the Washington Valor on Saturday, July 7.