Coming off of a 7-5 regular season finish and home-and-home playoff series sweep of the defending-Arena Football League-champion Washington Valor, the Philadelphia Soul will play for their fourth championship in franchise history Sunday evening opposite the top-seeded Albany Empire in ArenaBowl 32 at the Times Union Center. Sunday's championship game mark's the Soul's sixth-ever ArenaBowl appearance; they are looking for their fourth title in franchise history and their third in the last four seasons, having won in 2016 and 2017, along with 2008.
Largely helping the Soul advance to the ArenaBowl was their defense containing Valor dual-threat QB and Second Team All-Arena selection, Arvell Nelson, who led the AFL in total offense this season. Over the two-game series, Nelson threw five interceptions and was sacked seven times. Recently assigned Soul DL Malik Forrester has accounted for an AFL-best 4.5 sacks so far this postseason, including 3 in last Sunday's championship clincher.
Now, the Soul defense will look to contain Empire QB and three-time MVP Tommy Grady, who has been sacked just once this season. That sack came via Soul lineman Sean Daniels in the team’s Week 10 win against the Empire. In the second half of that game, Grady uncharacteristically completed just 8 of 18 passes and threw two picks. Overall this season, Grady led the AFL in completion percentage, passing yards, and touchdowns.
.@soulfootball QB Dan Raudabaugh on tonight’s ArenaBowl 32 matchup against @Albany_Empire:— Matt Rappa (@mattrappasports) August 11, 2019
"This is a championship organization with championship coaches and championship players. That's what it's about. Anything less is unacceptable. We're excited for this oppportunity." pic.twitter.com/ze1AesDtZ0
The Soul have 12 players with previous ArenaBowl experience, including veteran QB Dan Raudabaugh.
- Over his four appearances, Raudabaugh ranks second in ArenaBowl history in passing yards (1,101, 275.3 per game) and touchdowns (21, 5.25 per game), trailing only QB Nick Davila (1,437 passing yards, 35 touchdowns).
- Raudabaugh (97) needs just 14 completions to break Davila’s ArenaBowl record (110).
- In his last appearance (2017), Raudabaugh threw four touchdowns, three being to current teammates Darius Prince (2) and Darius Reynolds (1). James Romain and Dwayne Hollis each had an interception in the victory.
ArenaBowl 32 will feature 12 of the league's 18 First Team All-Arena selections (9 from Empire and 3 from Soul - Romain, Prince and Neal Tivis).