Soul fall to Allgood, Tulsa

QB Ryan Vena came off the bench to lead the Philly charge, but the comeback fell short.

Justin Allgood began the season as the Soul's starting quarterback, and Ryan Vena began the night on the bench.

One earned a win and the other likely won back his job.

Allgood threw for 283 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions Friday night in leading the Tulsa Talons to a 48-42 Arena Football League win over the Soul in front of 8,140 at the Wells Fargo Center.

"Words can't really describe how much this game meant to me and how excited I am," Allgood said.

Allgood had played four seasons for Tulsa before signing with the Soul in the offseason. He appeared in five games for the Soul, starting four, and threw 14 touchdown passes with seven interceptions before being traded to Tulsa.

In his return to Philadelphia, he was part of a game that went down to the wire.

With a six-point lead, Tulsa was looking to ice the game, but the Soul blocked a 25-yard field goal with 34 seconds remaining.

That gave the Soul one final chance, but Tulsa recovered a fumbled snap with 14.2 seconds left to preserve the victory.

The Soul are 5-9; Tulsa improved to 6-7.

Vena, who threw five TD passes but three interceptions in last week's 75-64 loss at Spokane, was relegated to the bench against Tulsa, having been replaced by Brandon Kirsch.

After a first half in which Kirsch completed 14 of 25 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns but threw three interceptions, he was lifted in favor of Vena.

In a relief role, Vena completed 11 of 14 passes for 168 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.

"I think I have been playing seven to eight weeks in a row, and [the team] is a little more comfortable with myself in there," Vena said. "I am a fiery player and try to get us going a little more."

Kirsch, who lives in Lebanon, Pa., was making his first Soul appearance since signing with the team on May 20. He had not been in the Arena League since 2008, when he served as a backup quarterback for Colorado. He admitted to having to shake some rust.

"It's not the flag-football league I played in back home," he said, ". . . it's tough."

When asked whether Vena had earned a return to the starting spot, Soul coach Mike Hohensee suggested he had.

"As of right now, I would think so," Hohensee said. "I was hoping Brandon would be a little more consistent."

It didn't help that the Soul were without receiver Donovan Morgan, who was sidelined by a shin injury. Morgan has caught 102 passes for 1,614 yards and 32 touchdowns. With injuries at the position, Mike Brown, a standout in the secondary, moved to receiver and made six catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns.

Brown was one of the bright spots on a night when Hohensee tried all sorts of moves to win, but was done in by his former starting quarterback.

 


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com,

or @sjnard on Twitter.