The Soul understand the magnitude of the task ahead of them. They know they can't start the game the way they did last week if they want to move on to Arena Bowl XXXI.
The Soul (7-6) face the Baltimore Brigade (8-5) in the second game of their first-round playoff series on Friday. Each team receives a home game in the best-of-two series. The Brigade are the higher of the two seeds and opted to play at home for the second game. The Soul lost Game 1, 57-45. They must win Game 2 by 13 or more to move on to Arena Bowl XXXI.
"I saw a little different energy this week. We know the situation is very dire for us, we've gotta go out and perform and we've gotta start fast, that's our biggest thing," said Coach Clint Dolezal. "When we start fast and make teams chase us we're very tough to beat."
"We put ourselves in a bit of a hole. We fought back there at the end to give ourselves a better chance but we're still down," said Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh. "It's going to be a dogfight so it's going to be 60 minutes or more of whatever it takes to get the job done. So you gotta dig deep. Look down inside yourself and like I said trust in your teammates that they're gonna be prepared too."
The focus for the Soul this week was less about practice and more about the mental side of things. Focusing on what they can improve while also fixing some of the miscommunications that hindered them in the first half.
"You gotta really pound the film. You gotta do some evaluation. Some self-evaluation and see what they're doing against us but you just gotta go out and let it rip and play well," said Raudabaugh. "It's win or go home. These are the ones you look forward to."
Coach Lyles believes that if the offensive line protects Raudabaugh better, they will be in position to win Friday's game decisively. Along with getting more pressure on Brigade quarterback Randy Hippeard.
"We didn't do a bad job of protections but we've got to get better," said Coach Lyles."Defensively we got some rush at times but we need to get more. Obviously, if we going to win by the margin we need to win by we're going to need to bring a lot more pressure."
The Soul have prepared the entire season for an opportunity to play in Arena Bowl XXXI.