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Can't Finish off Valor, Fall 34-30 in DC Battle

July 23, 2017
The Baltimore Brigade (4-8) fell, 34-30, to the Washington Valor (2-10) Saturday night at Verizon Center in what was the lowest scoring game of the AFL season. QB Shane Carden accounted for a trio of touchdowns while Valor QB Sean Brackett took home the game’s MVP award for his performance.

After a Washington return touchdown on the opening kickoff was negated by a penalty, the Valor wasted no time getting back on the board. Brackett found WR T.T. Toliver for a 45-yard touchdown to give the Valor a 7-0 lead. The Brigade answered with a scoring drive of their own, capped off by a two-yard touchdown run by FB Rory Nixon. A three-yard Brackett touchdown run ended what was a nearly 10-minute scoring drought, giving Washington a 14-7 advantage. Baltimore answered with a touchdown on their next drive, as Carden found WR Milton Williams for an eight-yard score, knotting the score once again. With only 20 seconds remaining in the half, Brackett connected with Toliver for a second time, giving the Valor a seven-point lead at halftime.

Baltimore started the second half quickly, scoring on their second play from scrimmage when Carden found WR Brandon Thompkins for a 36-yard touchdown reception. Both teams would trade scores on their ensuing possessions, but a missed point after attempt by the Brigade left Washington with a one point, 28-27 lead after three quarters. Strong defensive play in the fourth quarter left the score unchanged entering the final minute of play. Brigade K Pat Clarke drilled a 21-yard field goal with 56 seconds remaining in the game, giving Baltimore their first lead of the night, 30-28. The Valor, however, landed the final strike, as Brackett connected with Toliver for the third time with just four seconds left in the game, giving Washington a 34-30 lead. The Valor intercepted Carden’s ensuing Hail Mary attempt to seal the victory.

KEY STAT: The 64 total points were the fewest scored in an AFL game this season and the 34 points by the Valor were the fewest by a winning team this season.

MVP: WAS QB Sean Brackett – 16-31 passing, 175 yards and five total touchdowns (four passing, one rushing)

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: WAS WR T.T. Toliver – six receptions for 113 yards and three touchdowns

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: WAS DB Michael Knight – game-high eight solo tackles, two interceptions and one pass break-up

The Brigade return to Royal Farms Arena next weekend, looking to earn consecutive victories over the league-leading Philadelphia Soul. The matchup kicks off next Sat., July 29 at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Monumental Sports Network.
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