PITTSBURGH, PA - The Soul were unable to take the lead at all on their division rivals as they loss, 65-57 to the Pittsburgh Power at the CONSOL ENERGY CENTER in front of 5,321 fans.
The game started off with Power's QB Tommy Grady throwing a 5 yard touchdown to WR Hank Edwards. That touchdown gave Pittsburgh the edge of leading the entire game.
The Soul looked lost on offense and defense. It was a close game in the first quarter heading into the second with the Power leading, 21-14. Since then, the Soul started to unravel and weren't playing the same way as they were during their three game win streak.
Soul's QB Dan Raudabaugh fumbled the ball in the start of the second quarter that gave the Power possession. That turnover was considered the turning point in the game since the Power quickly scored off of a Tommy Grady to Kauleinamoku touchdown for 26 yards. In addition, the next drive for the Soul, Raudabaugh threw a lot of incompletions and resulted in a turnover on downs at their own 7. Eventually, Tommy Grady capitalized on that turnover and threw a touchdown to his top WR on the night, Rodney Wright that put the Power up 35-14 over the Soul.
Raudabaugh finished the night by going 17/25, threw 308 yards and five touchdowns.
"Credit to Pittsburgh, they got a good team, well coached and I think we beat ourselves tonight," Raudabaugh told Soul Insider briefly after the game in the CONSOL Energy Center. "We're going to come together, it's going to be a tough ride home, but we'll get better. We got to get better each week and we cant be complacent."
The Soul put more pressure on the Power as they were close to possibly knotting up the game. With 5 minutes to go in the fourth, CB James Romain ran back a 58 yard touchdown off of a kickoff that only put the Soul down 50-58. The Power remained prevailing by responding with a 45 yard touchdown by Grady on their first possession for a 65-50 lead. The Soul did in fact score a touchdown by a 39 yard touchdown on their first possession but the game had already been escalated and the winning edge would head towards Pittsburgh.
Coach Dolezel did not look pleased at his team's performance during and after the game. Soul Insider caught up to him after the game to discuss what happened that led to the loss.
"We weren't making enough plays on either sides of the ball and we didn't get a defensive stop the entire game," Dolezel said. "We had them on 3rd and 4th down a lot and didn't come up with plays. There are a lot of things that can be fixed."
Russell Athletic Offensive player of the game, QB Tommy Grady put on an excellent showing against Philadelphia. Graddy went 32/45, 316 yards and 9 touchdowns. 5 of his touchdowns and 163 of his yards were supported by WR Rodney Wright, who in which, was named AFL Playmaker of the game.
Soul's top WR Ryan McDaniel was ejected from the game in the 3rd quarter from a questionable call. McDaniel was shown getting tackled and looked like he was trying to get the defender off of his ankle, but the refs claimed that he threw a punch at the defender. After the game, Dolezel was speaking with McDaniel about the situation and Soul Insider decided to ask Raudabaugh and Dolezel what happened.
"I got to see the film, I don't think he threw a punch at anybody," Raudabaugh said. "What I saw was that he got rolled up underneath the pile and was trying to get someone off of him, Ryan is an emotional player, but we have to do better in controlling our emotions in the heat of the moment."
"He got to close into something he didn't need to get close to," Dolezel told Soul Insider. "I'm pretty sure he threw a punch, couldn't really tell, he got his ankle rolled on and he reacted poorly to it."
The AFL will review the ejection and a decision is expected to come in the middle of the week. It's likely that it will be a fine if it's determined that the punch McDaniel threw was intentional.
The Soul obviously have some things to work on now that they have fallen to 3-4 this season. They will face the New Orleans Voodoo next week at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia at 6:00pm ET.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player: Pittsburgh’s Tommy Grady
Riddell Defensive Player: Pittsburgh’s Arvell Nelson
J Lewis Small AFL Playmaker: Pittsburgh’s Rodney Wright
Cutter’s Catch of the Game: Pittsburgh’s Shawn Kauleinamoku
Spalding Highlight of the Game: Pittsburgh’s Tyrone Goard