Soul Take Down Predators In Wild Card Matchup, 41-26
PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Soul defense held the Orlando Predators to a season low 26 points in the National Conference Wild Card Round of the playoffs at the Wachovia Center on Friday night in front of 8,013 fans. The Soul won by a 41-26 margin and advanced to the Divisional Round for the second consecutive season.
The Soul began the game turning the ball over on downs at the Orlando one-yard line and saw Orlando quarterback Shane Stafford connect with Ron Johnson from 49 yards to get on the board first. Philadelphia went down and converted a Todd France 24-yard field goal. On the ensuing play, France's kickoff was fumbled by T.T. Toliver and recovered by Jerrian James to give the Soul a 10-7 lead after one quarter of play.
In the second quarter, the Predators went back on top when Javarus Dudley caught a 17-yard touchdown, but the Soul scored on their next drive to take a 17-14 advantage. Following their scores, the Philadelphia defense stood strong and held the Orlando offense to a 23-yard field goal that tied up the game at 17 a piece. Both teams exchanged field goals on their next drives to take them into the half knotted up at 20-20.
The second half started off with a little of the same scoring from the first when Predators kicker Jay Taylor converted a 34-yard field goal for his third conversion of the night, but the Soul scored the next 14 points to go into the final period ahead 34-23. With 2:08 remaining in the quarter, Tony Graziani threw his first touchdown of the game to Pauley to give Philadelphia their 11-point lead.
The Soul defense continued to play strong as they held Orlando to another field goal to start the final period, yet Graziani led his team down the field once again to extend the Philadelphia advantage to 15 at 41-26.
Graziani finished the night with 20-of-35 completions for 198 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions as he was named the Offensive Player of the Game.
Stafford connected on 16-of-38 for 227 yards with two touchdowns and one pick.
Fun! Family! Football! The Soul will enter the National Conference Divisional Round of the playoffs next week and will wait to see what happens in the remaining Wild Card Round contests on Saturday night. The Soul are in their fourth season in the AFL and in their three seasons they have sold out 93% of the venue while drawing a League best 387,491 fans combined.
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