The Washington Valor were defeated, 51-46, by the defending-champion Philadelphia Soul Thursday night at Capital One Arena. Newly signed quarterback Arvell Nelson was named Offensive Player of the Game for his 345-yard, seven-touchdown performance.
“There was a different type of energy that (we) brought in the fourth quarter,” Valor Interim Head Coach Benji McDowell said after the game. “We just need to have that every quarter – from the first play to the last.”
The Valor opened up a 6-0 lead when Nelson found wideout Reggie Gray for a 16-yard score on the game’s opening possession. Gray totaled three scores and has now found the endzone in five-straight games. Philadelphia took a 7-6 lead with 2:12 left in the first quarter when the Soul quarterback Greg McGhee score on a two-yard run. On the first play of the second quarter, Valor wideout TT Toliver scored on a 42-yard pass from Nelson, marking the third-longest score in franchise history. Philadelphia blocked and returned the point-after attempt for two points, cutting the Valor lead to 12-9, before going on a run of three-consecutive touchdowns – one rushing, one passing and one interception return. Nelson threw his third touchdown pass of the night with seven seconds left in the first half to cut the Philadelphia lead to 30-20.
Philadelphia extended its lead to 37-20 when McGhee threw his second touchdown of the night just four minutes into the third quarter. Nelson answered, finding rookie wideout Jared Dangerfield in the endzone for the second time, bringing the Valor back within 10. Nelson found Gray for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter as Washington and Philadelphia traded scores. With the Valor within 11 with under two minutes to go, Washington intercepted McGhee and scored on Nelson’s seventh touchdown pass of the night, cutting the Soul lead to 51-46. The Valor were unable to secure the onside kick, allowing Philadelphia to run out to clock and clinch the victory.
MVP: PHI QB Greg McGhee – 11/19 passing, 189 passing yards and six total touchdowns
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: WAS QB Arvell Nelson – 25/42 passing, 345 passing yards and seven touchdowns
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: PHI DB Larico Stevenson – Six total tackles and one interception returned for a touchdown
The Valor are back in action next Sunday, June 10, again taking on the Philadelphia Soul. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The game will be broadcast live on Monumental Sports Network, AFL Now and Facebook Watch.