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Arena Football: Empire improves to 3-0

Arena Football: Empire improves to 3-0

Grady sparks 57-48 win over Philadelphia Soul
Arena Football: Empire improves to 3-0
Quarterback Tommy Grady led the Albany Empire past the Philadelphia Soul 57-48 Saturday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber/Gazette Photographer

PHILADELPHIA — Efficiency was the theme of the night as quarterback Tommy Grady completed 14 of 17 passes for 256 yards and seven TD passes to propel the Albany Empire to a 57-48 victory over the Philadelphia Soul in the battle for first place in the Arena Football League before a crowd of 9,843 at Wells Fargo Center Saturday night.

The Empire improves to 3-0 and is now the only unbeaten team left in the league. Philadelphia slides to 2-1.

Until the final possession of the game, following an interception by Albany’s Arkeith Brown, the Empire connected on all of its other scoring drives.

The Empire scored its final points of the game when Brown recovered an onside kick attempt by the Soul and ran it back for the TD with time winding down. Grady found Malachi Jones for the two-point conversion.

The Soul connected on a couple of quick passing plays to move the ball to the Albany 13-yard line, but Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh threw a two incomplete passes before Brown locked up the win with his interception.

Albany took a 7-0 lead on a Grady 13-yard TD to Collin Taylor and a PAT by Adrian Trevino. Philadelphia knotted the score on Raudabaugh’s 38-yard scoring strike to Lonnie Outlaw.

Albany went ahead 14-7 on Grady’s TD strike to Demetres Stephens before Soul fullback Adrian Ferns bulled his way for a 3-yard scoring run to cut the deficit to 14-13 early in the second quarter. The PAT failed.

Grady connected with Jones for a 43-yard TD to give the Empire a 21-13 advantage. Raudabaugh found  Darius Prince on a slant route to get the Soul within 21-20. Grady and Quentin Sims then hooked up for an Empire TD that gave Albany a 28-20 halftime lead.

Raudabaugh and Prince connected once again to pull the Soul within 28-27, but Grady hit Stephens with a 41-yard bomb for a 35-27 Empire advantage.
The teams traded scores from there, with Outlaw catching a TD from Raudabaugh and Sims hauling in a scoring strike from Grady to close out the third quarter with Albany leading 42-34.

Jones caught six passes for 137 yards and two scores, while Sims and Stephens also caught two TD passes each.

Raudabaugh was 21-for-34 for 309 yards and six TD strikes for Philadelphia. Outlaw was his prime receiver with nine catches for 191 yards and there scores. Prince also caught three TD passes.

Jones caught six passes for 137 yards and two scores, while Sims and Stephens also caught two TD passes each.

Raudabaugh was 21-for-34 for 309 yards and six TD strikes for Philadelphia. Outlaw was his prime receiver with nine catches for 191 yards and there scores. Prince also caught three TD passes.

Albany    14 14 14 15 — 57
Philadelphia     7 13 14 14 — 48

A — Taylor 13 pass from Grady (Trevino kick).
P — Outlaw 38 pass from Raudabaugh (Spencer kick).
A — Stephens 29 pass from Grady (Trevino kick).
P — Ferns 3 run (kick failed).
A — Jones 43 pass from Grady (Trevino kick).
P — Prince 6 pass from Raudabaugh (Spencer kick).
A — Sims 4 pass from Grady (Trevino kick).
P — Prince 3 pass from Raudabaugh (Spencer kick).
A — Stephens 41 pass from Grady (Trevino kick).
P — Outlaw 39 pass from Raudabaugh (Spencer kick).
A — Sims 16 pass from Grady (Trevino kick).
P — Prince 11 pass from Raudabaugh (run failed).
A — Jones 13 pass from Grady (Trevin o kick).
P — Outlaw 2 pass from Raudabaugh (Prince pass from Raudabaugh).
A — Brown 7 kickoff return (Jones pass from Grady).

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