The Pittsburgh Power put themselves in an early hole by allowing 28 points through the early stages of the second quarter against the Philadelphia Soul and lost 59-21.
“We played two teams out there,” Head Coach Derek Stingley said.”The Philadelphia Soul and the Pittsburgh Power. We fought against ourselves tonight. If we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot, it would be a whole different day.”
Soul Head Coach Clint Dolezel was pleased for the most part with his team’s effort.
“A lot of things went our way: bar balls on kicks and a lot of that happens with a lot of preparation,” Dolezel said “I thought we played well for three quarters and fizzled in the fourth, not happy about that.”
The Power started off with the football and with Derek Cassidy under center turned the ball over on downs. Taking over on the Power two, the Soul stuck with running back Derrick Ross who ran the ball for the touchdown.
With his running in the first quarter, Ross passed Bo Kelly to become the Arena Football League’s all-time leading rusher.
“I did it and I’m happy,” Ross said. “I’d like to thank my teammates and offensive line. We’ve got to keep it going because I want that ring.”
In the AFL, offenses typically pass early and often, but Ross quickly passed Kelly and Dolezel could not have been happier for him.
“It’s unbelievable first off,” Dolezel said. “It is an individual record, but you also have to have some good linemen and receivers blocking downfield. To do it in two and a half or so years, is pretty unbelievable. It took Bo Kelly 12 years to get the record. I’m proud of him, he’s a great player and he’s as good as he wants to be.”
Cassidy then threw his first of two interceptions right after the defense forced and recovered a fumble. Ross would score again on his second touchdown of the game, this one a pass from 11 yards out.
Cassidy then faced additional pressure from the Soul and forced an interception on a short pass. The result? Another Ross touchdown. This one came after he hurdled over Power defenders on the 14 yard pass.
“I was running and I saw the defender coming,” Ross said. “I didn’t know what he was going to do, but then I saw him dip his shoulder, going for my knees, so I just jumped. I jumped over him and I scored. I was very excited about that.”
Dan Raudabaugh had himself a game and continued to spread the wealth to his wide receivers finding Ryan McDaniel on an 11 yard pass for the 28-0 lead.
The Power already making a quarterback change to Shane Austin before the end of the first quarter got on the board with 1:32 left in the second quarter. There, Austin completed a 30 yard pass to Julian Talley, but not before he bounced off a defender en route to the end zone.
The Soul would add a field goal from the leg of Carlos Martinez before the end of the half making the Soul lead 31-7 at the half.
Things would not improve in the third quarter. The Soul started with the football and on their first play from scrimmage, Raudabaugh found McDaniel for a 45 yard touchdown.
The Soul again owned the third quarter outscoring the Power 28-14. The Power touchdowns were a 20 yard connection from Austin to Talley and a 40 yard pass from Austin to Mike Washington.
The Power got an interception to open the quarter as Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted a pass off back up quarterback Dustin Almond. Still, they were unable to punch the ball in the end zone as they turned the ball over on downs.
Neither team would score in the fourth quarter as the Soul played Almond for the quarter. The Power continued to have a stalled offense. Ultimately, the Soul offense was in full control of the game capitalizing on four Power interceptions and three fumbles.
The victory was that much sweeter for the Soul as it was their first division win this season. Having lost earlier in the season to the Power.
“That’s what it was all about; revenge,” Ross said. “They played a good game the first game and they beat us. We couldn’t let that go and we couldn’t let them get close like that because they have some weapons. We just had to stay in front and keep moving.”
From a Power standpoint, the whole game left Washington confused.
“It’s frustrating,” Washington said. “I think we make it harder than it is, it’s arena football. It’s easy 1-2-3, the ball comes out.”
Washington has been on the Power for all three seasons but was very honest when reflecting on ‘confounding problems’ regarding the quarterback and kicker positions among other problems.
“Personally I thought we had more talent the first year,” Washington said. “We had a lot more veterans than we do now. We had Bernard Morris and Coach Seigfried and his philosophy. We had veteran leadership with our receivers and line spots. We ended up going to the conference finals against Cleveland. It’s been up and down the past two years.”
The Power will take to the road next Saturday when they face the Orlando Predators. In the previous meeting on May 4, the Power lost 52-38 to the Predators.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game
Philadelphia Fullback Derrick Ross
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game
Philadelphia Defensive Back Rayshaun Kizer
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game
Philadelphia Fullback Derrick Ross
Cutters Catch of the Game
Philadelphia’s Anthony Jones’ deflected reception while seated on turf in 1st Quarter
AFL Highlight of the Game
Philadelphia’s Derrick Ross’ 3rd touchdown of the 1st Quarter, hurdling over Pittsburgh defender
Pittsburgh Power vs Philadelphia Soul scoring
Soul: Ross 2 yard run [Carlos Martinez kick good] 10:04 7-0
Soul: Ross 11 yard pass from Raudabaugh [Martinez kick good] 6:50 14-0
Soul: Ross 14 yard pass from Raudabaugh [Martinez kick good] 2:01 21-0 [Hurdled for touchdown]
Soul: McDaniel 11 yard pass from Raudabaugh [Martinez kick good] 11:28 28-0
Power: Talley 30 yard pass from Austin [Rauch kick good] 1:32 28-7
Soul: Martinez 25 yard field goal 0:00 31-7
Soul: McDaniel 45 yard pass from Raudabaugh [Martinez kick good] 13:38 38-7
Power: Talley 20 yard pass from Austin [Rauch kick good] 11:25 38-14
Soul: Jones 7 pass from Raudabaugh [Martinez kick good] 9:14 45-14
Soul: Thurman 5 yard pass from Raudabaugh [Martinez kick good] 7:02 52-14
Soul: Jones 7 yard pass [Martinez kick good] 3:01 59-14
Power: Washington 40 yard pass from Austin [Rauch kick good] 2:26 59-21