Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Seven Soul players earn All-Arena honors

-Courtesy of the Philadelphia Soul

PHILADELPHIA – The Arena Football League announced the All-Arena Teams on Wednesday and seven Soul players made the cut. Four Soul players were announced to the All-Arena First Team; quarterback Matt D’Orazio, receiver Chris Jackson, and offensive linemen Phil Bogle and Martin Bibla. The All-Arena Second Team consisted of three Soul Players: defensive back Eddie Moten and defensive linemen Bryan Save and Gabe Nyenhuis. The seven Soul players were the most by any team in the AFL; San Jose had the second-most with four.

D’Orazio’s selection to the All-Arena First Team may come as a surprise considering he entered the season as the Soul’s back-up quarterback. D’Orazio has had the bulk of the snaps for Philadelphia since Week 3 when Tony Graziani first came down with an injury.

D’Orazio ends the season as the highest-rated quarterback in the league at 131.3, throwing 72 touchdowns to just four interceptions. He also finished fifth in the league with 227 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns.

Jackson’s All-Arena selection is exactly the reason why the Soul added the highly touted receiver during the off-season. Jackson ranked second in the league with 140 receptions for 1,719 yards, while boasting a league-best 49 receiving touchdowns. All three marks set new franchise single-season records.

Bogle and Bibla make up two-thirds of the All-Arena First Team’s offensive line. Bogle was named to both the All-Arena First Team and All-Rookie Team last season. This season, Bogle caught seven passes, six of which went for scores. Bibla caught eight passes for 82 yards and a score.

Moten was named to the All-Arena Team for the third straight year. This season Moten recorded team highs with 93.5 tackles and six interceptions. Moten tied for the league-lead with 23 passes defended. Moten’s previous All-Arena Team selections were First Team.

Save was named to the All-Arena Second Team despite missing three games due to injury. This season, Save tied the AFL record for safeties in a season with two. He also recorded 5.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles. Last season, Save was an All-Rookie selection.

Nyenhuis earned his spot on the All-Arena Second Team by terrorizing teams in the backfield. The defensive lineman finished second in the league with 9.5 sacks, and led the league in tackles for loss with 12.5. Both marks set new franchise bests for a single season.

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