The Soul don't lose at home. Entering 2018, Philadelphia's Arena Football team hadn't dropped a single contest — either at the Wells Fargo Center or Allentown's PPL Center — in 17 straight games.
So, for the second time in less than a month, the Soul wouldn't lose again, would they?
With an emphatically blocked kick heard throughout the arena, the Washington Valor secured their first win of the season, stunning the Soul, 49-48, Sunday evening at the Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia, playing without veteran starting QB Dan Raudabaugh, coughed away a 28-14 lead to fall back to .500 after starting the season 3-0.
Journeyman Shane Austin filled in under center and connected with star wideout Darius Prince for four of his six touchdown passes, but it was a pair of interceptions, including one on the Soul's final offensive play, that did his team in.
"When you're not dominating in one of the phases and you're kind of even in all three of them, you get a game like we had," Soul head coach Clint Dolezel said. "We didn't make enough plays to win."
After some sloppy play by the Soul allowed the Valor to climb out of an early hole, it was a new ballgame to start the fourth quarter with the teams tied at 35. A failed fourth-down conversion, though, gave Washington the ball just 5 yards out, and the Valor cashed in.
The Soul brought things level just three minutes later, evening the score, 42-42, but another Valor rushing touchdown gave Washington back a lead it would not relinquish.
Although Austin got one last shot to lead his team to a win in his Soul debut, an interception with 19 ticks to go after a Valor fumble ended all hope of victory
"We were just a couple of plays away," Austin said. "I was inaccurate on a few balls that I left just short or high. I've got to be able to make those throws."