The Washington Valor (0-1) fell to the Baltimore Brigade (1-0), 61-56, at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Md. in the first game of the 2018 Arena Football League season. Valor quarterback Nick Davila, playing in his first game with the team, was named Offensive Player of the Game for his seven-touchdown performance.
“It’s fun to play for the Valor, to represent the red white and blue, to represent my team, represent my family,” Davila said. “What more can you want? I was having fun out there but, ultimately, it’s better when you win.”
Baltimore got on the board first when quarterback Randy Hippeard, the AFL MVP in 2017, connected with wide receiver Kendrick Ings for the game’s first score, giving the Brigade a 7-0 advantage. Minutes later, Hippeard notched his first rushing touchdown of the season and gave the Brigade a two-score lead early in the first quarter. Davila found wide receiver Chris Duvalt for Washington’s first score of the season late in the opening quarter. Another Hippeard passing touchdown, this time to Brandon Thompkins, who is playing in his second season with the Brigade, gave Baltimore a 20-7 lead after the first quarter. Davila tossed his second score of the game to Rod Windsor to bring the game back within one score. Baltimore and Washington traded scores throughout the remainder of second quarter, which ended with another Hippeard rushing touchdown as time expired on the first half, giving the Brigade a 40-28 lead.
Davila started off the second half scoring with a 17-yard rushing touchdown, cutting the Baltimore lead to 40-35. Wide receiver Brandon Collins answered for the Brigade, hauling in another Hippeard touchdown to make the score 47-35. Davila and Hippeard traded passing touchdowns, keeping the game within two scores for the entirety of the fourth quarter. With under one minute remaining, Davila found Windsor for their third scoring connection of the game, setting the final score at 61-56.
MVP: BAL QB Randy Hippeard
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: WAS QB Nick Davila
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: BAL DB Joe Powell