The Baltimore Brigade defeated the defending-champion Philadelphia Soul, 31-21, Friday night at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, moving the two teams into a tie atop the league standings. Brigade quarterback Randy Hippeard threw for 207 yards and four touchdowns and was named the game’s MVP, his third of the season. Brigade wide receiver Brandon Collins and defensive back Virgil Gray were named Offensive and Defensive Players of the Game, respectively.
“Any time you can hold a team to 21 points, especially someone like Philadelphia, you make a statement,” Hippeard said after the game. “It’s only going to get tougher…I fully expect to get their best effort the next time we play them.”
Baltimore forced a Philadelphia fumble on the game’s opening possession, setting up a six-yard touchdown reception for Baltimore fullback Rory Nixon – his first of the season. The Soul answered with a touchdown of their own, tying the game at seven apiece. A 28-yard pass from Hippeard to wide receiver Milton Williams less than a minute into the second quarter gave the Brigade a 14-7 lead. Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh and wideout Darius Prince connected for their sixth touchdown of the season to knot the game at 14. With 3:42 left in the first half, Hippeard found Collins for an over-the-wall touchdown that gave the Brigade a 21-14 lead, which held until the halftime break.
After a Brigade goal-line stand with just over five minutes left in the third quarter, Hippeard found wide receiver Quentin Sims for a 42-yard touchdown to give Baltimore its first two-score lead of the game, 28-14. Soul fullback Adrian Ferns found the end zone from one yard out with 13:12 remaining in the game to cut the lead to 28-21. After an eight-minute drive from the Brigade offense, kicker Mark Lewis converted on a 21-yard field goal to give Baltimore a 10-point lead. Gray intercepted Raudabaugh with 2:05 left in the game, allowing the offense to run out the clock and seal the game.
MVP: BAL QB Randy Hippeard – 19-32 passing, 207 yards and four TDs
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: BAL WR Brandon Collins – seven receptions, 67 yards and one TD
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: BAL DB Virgil Gray – 10 total tackles and one interception
The Brigade have a bye week next week, but return to action on the road on Saturday, May 19 at 3 p.m. at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., taking on the Washington Valor. The Brigade are back in Baltimore on Friday, May 25, hosting the Philadelphia Soul at 7 p.m. at Royal Farms Arena.