Brigade Today // May 13, 2019
5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT WR JOE HILLS
Joe Hills became the 17th player in Arena Football League history to surpass 10,000 career receiving yards. He now sits at 10,074 yards and is just 132 yards shy of 16th place on the league's all-time receiving leaderboard.
Hills currently holds the longest streak in AFL history for most consecutive games with a receiving touchdown at 95 games. On July 15, 2017, Hills surpassed AFL Hall of Famer Damian Harrell's previous mark of 78 games, scoring on a two-yard pass from quarterback Randy Hippeard against the Baltimore Brigade.
Hills has earned a total of five All-Arena honors: four First Team All-Arena (2018, 2017, 2016, 2013) and one Second Team All-Arena (2015). In 2017, Hills was named AFL Wide Receiver of the Year. In 2016, he was named both Offensive Player of the Year and Cutters Receiver of the Year.
Hills led the AFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns for two years straight in 2016 and 2017. Last season, Hills missed one regular season game and still led the league in receiving touchdowns with 33. He was second in the AFL in receptions at 88, just one behind leader Darius Prince, and third in receiving yards at 1,045.
The Palmetto, Florida native is a seven-year veteran and has played for five different AFL teams including the Tampa Bay Storm, Spokane Shock (for one game), Jacksonville Sharks, Albany Empire, and the Baltimore Brigade.
"I've been in this game for a long time. There's a reason I keep coming back year after year, I love it. Putting on a show for the fans and coming on the field doing what I love every game is a blessing. It's an honor to be a part of such an elite group in the league who have reached 10,000 yards but I am not done. Not yet." - Joe Hills
5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT WR BRANDON THOMPKINS
Brandon Thompkins hit a new milestone of 8,000 career receiving yards on Friday night against the Columbus Destroyers. He is 28th all-time with 8,049 yards and just 64 yards shy of moving up to 27th. The Baltimore Brigade is the only AFL team with two active players in the top 30 all-time in receiving yards.
Thompkins has earned six All-Arena honors in just four years as a wide receiver and a kick return specialist. Last season, he was the only player in the AFL to earn All-Arena honors in two different positions, a feat he has accomplished twice. In 2016, he was named Playmaker of the Year.
Currently Thompkins is leading the AFL in kickoff return yards at 213, which is 55 yards more than the player in second place. He is fourth in the AFL in receptions with 22 and sixth in receiving yards at 216.
Thompkins sits at 18th all-time in number of kick returns, just one kick return away from 17th and five away from 16th. He is the 15th all-time in kick return yards, 25 yards from advancing to 14th. He is tied for 7th of all-time in kick return touchdowns at 18.
Thompkins is an eight-year veteran and has played with Baltimore for two seasons. Currently, Thompkins leads the team in receptions at 22. Last season, Thompkins led the Brigade in receptions (85), receiving yards (809) and tied for first in receiving touchdowns at 15. He led the Brigade in both seasons as a kick returner in all categories.
"I'm just living in my purpose. All glory to God for allowing me to do what I do." - Brandon Thompkins
BALTIMORE IMPROVES TO 2-1 IN VICTORY AGAINST COLUMBUS 48-30
Hills surpasses new 10,000 career milestone, Boyd named MVP
SCORE BY of 1 3 4 FINAL
BALTIMORE 7 14 7 20 48
COLUMBUS 0 10 13 7 30
The Baltimore Brigade (2-1) defeated the Columbus Destroyers (0-3) Friday night at Royal Farms Arena 48-30. Hills was named Offensive Player of the Game with nine receptions for 74 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Shane Boyd was named Most Valuable Player with his 24 completions for 287 yards and five touchdown performance.
"Our team grew a lot this game," Brigade Head Coach Omarr Smith said. "We spoke about facing adversity and how to respond to it this week. From that perspective, I am very excited because our players grew tonight. It was a great, hard fought win."
Baltimore's defense brought the pressure throughout the night led by linebacker Dexter Jackson, defensive lineman Darryl Cato-Bishop, and defensive backs Joe Powell and Josh Victorian. Jackson was explosive grabbing one sack for a loss of seven yards, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and three solo tackles. Cato-Bishop also racked up a crucial sack for a loss of five yards, one solo tackle, and one forced fumble that defensive lineman Robert Hayes recovered in the third quarter. Victorian collected seven solo tackles for the second week in a row and one pass breakup. Powell stole an interception in the first quarter, his third for the season, and tallied five total tackles (4 solo).
Teammate Talk: After Game Three
LB Dexter Jackson on defense performance
"We just took advantage of our opportunities tonight. We are all brothers and play off each other. If one guy isn't in the right place, we can feel that. So anytime one of us make a play, we all make a play."
DB Josh Victorian on defense performance
"We have a lot of big, physical guys out there. Guys like Dexter Jackson, I feed of him and my other teammates. We've been harping on defensive pressure all week. I feel like this is the first time this season that we all pulled it together from the front end to the back end."
WR Joe Hills on offense performance
"Coach Smith does a great job at calling plays that will put myself and the rest of the receivers in the right position to be successful. Shane also does a great job at spreading the ball around. I'm happy to be a part of this team to see what all we can do."
QB Shane Boyd on team performance
"We stared off slow offensively, but defense had a great game. They made it tough for the Columbus quarterback and really brought the intensity from the beginning. Offensively, we are an unselfish team. Everyone had a touchdown and it's always good to be able to spread it around. These guys can really play ball."
WR Brandon Thompkins on team performance
"This is a marathon, it's not a sprint. We haven't put a complete game together yet where all of us are able to showcase each of our talents, but when we finally mesh this team together as one, we will be very dangerous."
UPCOMING BALTIMORE BRIGADE GAMES:
The Baltimore Brigade hit the road for their first away game of the season next Saturday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m. against the Atlantic City Blackjacks at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. The following week, Baltimore is back home at Royal Farms Arena Sunday, May 26 to take on the Philadelphia Soul. You can check out all the games (schedule here) live on NBC Sports Washington (NBCSW), ESPN3 or the ESPN App.
For additional information about joining the Battalion full season ticket membership club, as well as other group and all-inclusive ticket packages, call the Brigade Ticket Sales office at 667-930-0200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Baltimore Brigade huddle
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