Sunday, May 13, 2012

Soul use strong second half to top Sharks

PHILADELPHIA (May 12, 2012) – The Philadelphia Soul (7-2) came out on top of the Jacksonville Sharks (3-5) as they pulled away in the second half of a tight game in front of 8,757 fans at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night. 

“Tonight we saw a great performance from all aspects of the team,” said Soul head coach Doug Plank. “We had to battle back in the second half and really stepped up defensively.  It was an emotional win for us and hopefully we can carry this momentum into next week.”

Philadelphia’s QB Dan Raudabaugh finished by connecting on 20-of-26 passes for 308 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions.  Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game, Jeff Hughley led the way with seven receptions for 121 yards and three touchdowns.  Hughley also had five kick returns for 102 yards.  Tiger Jones finished with six receptions for 90 yards and two touchdowns, while Emery Sammons added five receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown.  Zipp Duncan also added a 14-yard touchdown.

Defensively, National Guard MVP, Brandon Perkins paced the defense with 3.5 total tackles, including two sacks.  Riddell Defensive Player of the Game, Kent Richardson had 2.5 total tackles, two interceptions and a pass breakup.  Rayshaun Kizer had 7.0 total tackles, an interception and three pass breakups, while Joe Goosby added 5.5 total tackles and an interception.

Raudabaugh got things rolling with a 36-yard touchdown pass to Hughley to take an early 7-0 lead.  After the teams exchanged interceptions in the end zone for touchbacks, Jacksonville’s Jamarko Simmons carried the ball for a three-yard touchdown run to even things out.  Soul TE Zipp Duncan caught a short pass, carrying it 14 yards and into the end zone, putting Philadelphia ahead of Jacksonville 14-7 at the close of the first quarter.

The second quarter started with Philadelphia and Jacksonville exchanging interceptions.  Richardson’s second interception for the Soul lead to Jeff Hughley’s second touchdown reception of the game on a one-handed three-yard catch with eight minutes remaining in the half.  A 24-yard touchdown reception by Jacksonville’s WR Terrance Smith and a Marco Capozzoli 20-yard field goal with eleven seconds remaining in the half cut Philadelphia’s lead to 21-17 heading into the break.

The third quarter got off to a slow start, but the Soul struck first with 8:08 remaining in the quarter.  Philadelphia’s Sammons hauled in a 12-yard Raudabaugh pass for the score.  Jacksonville responded on a Shamar Graves 45-yard touchdown reception late in the quarter.  After a series of Jacksonville penalties, Philadelphia extended their lead on a nine-yard touchdown grab by Tiger Jones to take a 35-24 lead into the final quarter.

The Sharks continued to fight into the fourth quarter.  A 28-yard touchdown pass to Smith cut Philadelphia’s advantage to four points early in the quarter.  Tiger Jones struck back on a 28-yard touchdown reception that he wrestled away from a Jacksonville defender to extend the Soul’s lead another time.  Midway through the quarter, the Soul defense successfully completed a goal-line stand and followed it with a 36-yard touchdown toss to Jeff Hughley.

The Soul will face the Spokane Shock next Friday night at 11 p.m. ET at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, WA.  The game will be broadcast on The Comcast Network with Lou Tilley and Tom Goodhines calling the action.
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