July 30, 2012

The Eastern Division Champion, Philadelphia Soul (16-3) move forward in the playoffs after their  66-53 victory over the New Orleans VooDoo (8-11) in front of 6,976 fans at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.

“I’m really proud of the players,” said Soul head coach Doug Plank.  “They were able to maintain their fortitude, especially in the second half, and they stayed focused until the very end of the game.”

Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh finished the game by connecting on 19-of-31 passes for 250 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions.  National Guard MVP of the Game Donovan Morgan finished with four receptions for 80 yards and three touchdowns.  JLS Iron Man of the Game Jeff Hughley recorded eight receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns.  He also added five kick returns for 110 yards. Larry Brackins contributed three receptions for 43 yards and two touchdowns and Emery Sammons had four receptions for 51 yards.

Defensively,  Rayshaun Kizer recorded 7.5 tackles and  two interceptions.  Brian Robinson recorded 3.0 tackles, including two sacks.  LaRico Stevenson recorded an integral forced fumble and recovery.

New Orlean’s QB Kurt Rocco connected 20-of-37 passes for 252 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions.  Josh Bush had eight receptions for 96 yards and five touchdowns.  Quorey Payne added six receptions for 83 yards and one touchdown.

Scoring began with a quarterback sneak by Rocco, followed by a 6-yard touchdown reception by Brackins.  With 11 seconds on the clock, Bush’s two-yard touchdown reception gave New Orleans a 14-7 lead at the end of the quarter.

Philadelphia scored first in the second quarter with a 15-yard touchdown reception by Hughley.  Following an interception by Rayshaun Kizer, Brackins scored on a 19-yard touchdown reception.  An on-side kick by Philadelphia’s Remy Hamilton was recovered by the Soul, a possession resulting in a 25-yard touchdown reception by Morgan.  Hamilton’s second on-side kick was recovered by New Orleans and resulted in a 10-yard touchdown reception by Bush.  New Orleans continued to hack away at Philadelphia’s lead with a safety by Marlon Favorite followed by a 32-yard touchdown reception by Payne.  With no time on the clock Hamilton completed a 34-yard field goal to end the first half with the Soul leading 31-30.

Third-quarter scoring opened with a 29-yard field goal by Gary Cismesia.  Morgan scored on a 29-yard touchdown reception and New Orleans responded with a 20-yard touchdown reception by Bush.  Ross’ 1-yard run for a touchdown ended the third-quarter scoring with Philadelphia leading 44-39.

The two teams took turns scoring in the fourth quarter with the Soul coming up with one more touchdown than the VooDoo.  Ross’ 1-yard run for Philadelphia’s final touchdown ended the game with a final score of 66-53.

The Soul will compete against the Jacksonville Sharks in the American Conference Championship on Friday, August 3 at 8 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center.