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Philadelphia vs. Cleveland: Gladiators No Match For Soul Defense on Record Setting Night

The Philadelphia Soul have pretty much done it all, from celebrity owners to championship seasons, but on Friday night at the Wells-Fargo Center, the team did something it had never done before; they allowed just 21 points to be scored. The Soul’s previous record for points allowed was 24 which came way back in 2006 against Kansas City.

What recipe did Philadelphia use to serve the (East Division leading) Cleveland Gladitors some humble pie?

It started with the crust. The Soul allowed just 7 points in the first half, a tasty franchise record.

The filling consisted of seven sacks (a franchise record dating back to 2005; including three, another team record, by Brandon Perkins) to which the Soul’s defense added two interceptions, and one safety. They topped it with several sweet offensive strikes, and let it bake for one hour.

Soul QB Ryan Vena was also cooking on Friday evening. He threw for just shy of 250 yards and three TD’s. He also led the team in rushing, running for 30 yards and two more TD’s.

The first two passing strikes went to WR Larry Brackins (who finished with 133 yards and 3 TD) and put the Soul up 14-0. Gladiator’s QB Kurt Rocco got his first TD with 3:35 left in the first quarter when he hit WR Troy Bergeron to cut the lead to 14-7. Philadelphia rebounded with two field-goals and a rushing TD and headed into half time with a 27-7 lead.

The second half scoring began just like the first, with a TD strike from Vena to Brackins. After the Soul defense added 2 points with a safety, and Vena and Rocco each added a rushing TD for their team, the score sat at 42-14 heading into the 4th quarter.

Vena’s second rushing TD was the first score in the 4th and put Philadelphia up 49-14. With just under three minutes to play, Rocco again connected with Bergeron for the game’s final points and the Soul walked away with a 49-21 victory to improve to 6-11. The Gladiators still sit in first place with a 9-7 record.

The Soul play their final home game of the year on July 22nd when they host Pittsburgh (who sits in 2nd place in the East at 8-7). The Soul will not be able to defend their AFL title in the playoffs, even with a victory over Pittsburgh, but can still end the season on a high note with back to back victories over the divisions two top teams.

Injured WR Donovan Morgan was honored by team president Ron Jaworski (and others) during the Cleveland game for his 100th career touchdown.

[photo credit: Jim Soloman]

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Philadelphia vs. Arizona: Soul Get Rattled in Final Seconds, Lose 55-54

Ryan Vena was back in the starting role at QB for the Philadelphia Soul on Saturday night when they hosted the Arizona Rattlers at the Wells-Fargo Center.

The Soul needed to win out the rest of the season to have a shot at making the playoffs and defending their AFL title.

Vena certainly did his part in the effort as he tossed two TD’s and ran for four more while throwing zero interceptions. Donovan Morgan led the WR’s, hauling in five passes for 98 yards and a TD. Keith Stokes caught six passes for 64 yards, and Syvelle Newton added five catches for 47 yards.

The Soul led the Rattlers, who have the league’s second best record, for the majority of the game. However, the only score that truly matters is the final score, and when the proverbial dust settled, the Rattlers found themselves on top by a single point, 55-54 after the Soul missed a 44 yard FG attempt in the final seconds.

The Rattlers were led by QB Nick Davila who tossed seven TD’s on the day (with just two interceptions). Rod Windsor (eleven receptions for 131 yards and 3 TD’s), Jason Geathers (six catches for 55 yards and three TD’s), and Kerry Reed (eight catches for 92 yards) were masterful at the WR position for Arizona.

The Soul now sit at 5-10 while the Rattlers improve to 13-2. Philadelphia has two home games remaining against Cleveland and Pittsburgh (you can enter our contest to win tickets to those games here).

[photo credit: Jim Soloman]

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Philadelphia vs. Tulsa: Tale of the Talons For The Soul

Brandon Kirsch got his first Arena Football League start at QB in over three years (his first as a member of the Soul) but couldn’t make the most of it on Friday night, as Philadelphia took on the Tulsa Talons at the Wells-Fargo Center.

With QB Ryan Vena on the bench, and leading WR Donovan Morgan out with a leg injury, Kirsch tossed the game’s first TD to put Philly up 7-0 but by half time he had thrown more interceptions (3) than TD’s (2) and the Soul trailed Tulsa (and former Philadelphia QB Justin Allgood) 27-14. Soul head coach Mike Hohensee replaced Kirsch with Vena to begin the second half.

Vena was good, tossing four TD’s (no INT) in relief, but Allgood was even better than his name suggests; he was stellar. He threw for 283 yards on the day and tossed six TD’s with no interceptions (earning him game MVP honors).

In Morgan’s absence, Syvelle Newton kicked his game up a notch contributing eleven receptions for 160 yards and four TD’s. Mike Brown, playing WR, also added six catches for 108 yards and two TD’s.

The loss at the Wells-Fargo center breaks a three game home winning streak for the Soul who now sit at third place in the division at 5-9. With only four games remaining, the Soul will most likely have to win out (and get some help) to make the playoffs and defend their Arena League title.

Their next game is Saturday night (June 25th) when they host the Arizona Rattlers. They then play Dallas on the road before returning home for their final two games against Cleveland and Pittsburgh. We are giving away a four pack of great lower-level seats to each of the final three home games so be sure to ENTER HERE.

[photo credit: Michael Green]

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Philadelphia vs. Milwaukee: Soul Win By a Nose Over Mustangs in Photo Finish

It took all 60 minutes of game time to keep their home win streak alive, but when the final buzzer sounded at the Wells-Fargo Center last evening the Philadelphia Soul had tamed the Milwaukee Mustangs to win their third straight home game.

Neither team managed to score in the first quarter and it looked like the game might be more of a defensive battle than anything else.

In the second quarter, the Soul scored the first TD of the game on a fumble recovery to take the early 7-0 lead. The Mustangs came right back to tie the game 7-7 on a TD pass from QB R.J. Archer. Soul QB Ryan Vena then connected with WR Syvelle Newton for a TD and the Soul were back on top. After a Milwaukee FG, the half ended with Philadelphia up 14-10.

The second half provided a lot more offense.

In the 3rd quarter the Mustangs scored a pair of rushing TD’s (both by Mykel Benson). Between the two Milwaukee scores, Vena threw a TD to Larry Brackins but Philly did not convert the extra point, giving the Mustangs a 23-20 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

In the final period the Soul scored first (at the 11:49 mark) on a TD pass from Vena to Donovan Morgan to take the lead 27-23. There was no scoring for almost ten minutes and then came the fireworks.

At the 2:46 mark the Mustangs got a rushing TD from Marcus Everett to jump back ahead 30-27. A minute and forty-five seconds later, Vena hit Morgan for their second TD connection of the game and Philadelphia took the lead 33-30.

Just five seconds later, Mykel Benson rushed into the end-zone for his third TD of the game, and the Mustangs went ahead 37-33 with 55 seconds remaining.

That gave the Soul enough time to run five plays. On the fifth play of the drive, Vena hit Morgan yet again and the Soul scored on the final play to win 39-37! With the win, the Soul improve to 5-7. The Mustangs drop to 3-8. Cleveland and Pittsburgh sit atop the division, both with a 6-4 record.

The Soul next travel to Spokane to take on the Shock on June 10th (game will be shown on NFL Network) before playing four of their final five games at home. The final two games of the season (both at home) will be against division leaders Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

[all photo credits:  Jim Soloman]

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Philadelphia vs. New Orleans: The Soul is Stronger Than Voodoo Magic

The Philadelphia Soul hosted the New Orleans Voodoo in Arena Football League action at the Wells-Fargo Center last night.  Both teams came into the game in last place in their division, desperately needing a win.

The Voodoo wouldn’t be casting any magic or capturing any souls on this night however as Philadelphia came out fast and furious. The Soul racked up ten touchdowns including seven from QB Ryan Vena (who passed for six and rushed for one).

Donovan Morgan led the way for the WR corps, hauling in eight catches for 118 yards and three TD’s. The stellar effort also notched a nice benchmark for Morgan who recorded his 100th career TD. Syvelle Newtown also pitched in with three touchdowns (two receiving and one rushing) on seven catches for 61 yards.

Trailing 6-0 early in the game (after an INT by Vena that was returned for a TD) the Soul quickly scored to take the lead 7-6. Once they took the lead, the Soul never let it go, eventually winning the game 70-49. With the win, the team improved to 4-7 and moved out of last place.

Philadelphia looks to build on their win streak on June 3rd when they host the Milwaukee Mustangs at 7:05 p.m at the Wells-Fargo Center.

You can win a 4 pack of great seats to an upcoming Soul game by ENTERING OUR CONTEST

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