Soul knock off Predators for first win of the season
A 27-point second quarter helped the Soul notch its first victory of the season by way of a 69-56 win over the Orlando Predators at CFE Arena in Orlando, Fla.
The win ended the Soul’s three-game losing streak and was its first since last season’s American Conference Championship game back on Aug. 10, 2013.
"We pulled together as a team tonight," said Soul head coach Clint Dolezel said after the game. "I was pleased with how we came out and played. There are a few things we still need to clean up, but this is the kind of effort we are used to seeing on a consistent basis."
The Soul (1-3) went into the second quarter tied with Orlando (3-2) at 14 and in possession of the ball. Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh led a five-play, 45-yard drive where he completed four consecutive passes that culminated with a one-yard rushing score from fullback Derrick Ross.
After the defense halted the Orlando offense, Raudabaugh hooked up with receiver Wayne Tribue on a six-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive.
Raudabaugh and company got the ball back three plays later thanks to an interception from Jack linebacker Joe Goosby.
Once again, it only took Raudabaugh one play to lead the Soul into the end zone as he connected with Ryan McDaniel on a 22-yard pass to increase the Philadelphia lead to 35-14.
The Predators finally got on the board in the second quarter after quarterback Jason Boltus found Khalil Paden for 31-yard score to cut the deficit to 35-21.
Orlando then tried an onside kick, but the Soul recovered at the Orlando 11-yard line. Two plays later, Raudabaugh tossed his third touchdown of the quarter when he hit McDaniel in the end zone from eight yards out.
The Predators found the end zone again before the end of the quarter, but the Soul still held a commanding 41-28 advantage at the half.
The Soul never allowed the Predators to make up any possessions in the second half and held on for the win.
Raudabaugh finished with probably the most efficient game of his career as he completed 20 of 22 passes for 254 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. Raudabaugh’s completion percentage of 90.9 would be an AFL single-game record if he attempted a minimum of 30 passes.
The record his actually held by Dolezel, who completed 89.7 percent of his passes in a game back on June 18, 1999.
McDaniel continued his stellar start to the season with nine receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Orlando’s Greg Carr topped McDaniel’s performance with seven receptions for 154 yards and four scores.
Philadelphia’s Tiger Jones also caught six passes Thursday for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Jones and McDaniel both lead the Soul in touchdown receptions so far this season with eight.
The Soul will finally open up its home schedule on Saturday, April 19 when it hosts the Jacksonville Sharks (1-2) in a rematch of the last two conference title games at the Wells Fargo Center. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.