The Baltimore Brigade dropped their final game of the season, 41-35, to the Washington Valor Friday night at Royal Farms Arena. Brigade DB Varmah Sonie recorded 10 total tackles and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, on his way to being named Defensive Player of the Game.
"It was a tough loss,” Brigade QB Shane Boyd said after the game. “You can't question our heart and our effort. We just have to execute a little bit better.”
The Valor got on the board first, scoring what would be the only points of the first quarter, when WR T.T. Toliver caught a 16-yard pass from Smith just over four minutes into the game. Washington extended its lead to double digits with 7:41 left in the first half as Smith found WR Josh Reese for a 24-yard touchdown. A pair of Baltimore scores – WR Brandon Collins’ touchdown reception and DB Varmah Sonie’s nine-yard interception return – tied the game at 14 with just over three minutes left in the half. Each team found the end zone in the final minute of the second quarter, setting the halftime score at 21-21.
A 25-yard touchdown pass to WR Reggie Gray represented the only scoring of the third quarter and gave the Brigade a 28-21 lead. The Valor scored just four seconds into the fourth quarter as WR Charles McClain caught a four-yard pass from Smith. Gray countered with his second score of the night, retaking the Brigade lead with under 12 minutes remaining. Washington, however, scored the final two touchdowns of the game, both by way of the Warren-Smith-to-Roger-Jackson connection. Jackson scored on a 24-yard catch and run with 7:10 left on the clock and on a 13-yard pass with just 39 second left to give the Valor the 41-35 lead. A goal-line stand by the Valor as time expired sealed the victory.
MVP: Washington Valor WR Roger Jackson – 10 receptions, 94 receiving yards and two touchdowns
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Washington Valor QB Warren Smith – 21-25 passing, 229 yards and six total touchdowns
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Baltimore Brigade DB Varmah Sonie – 10 total tackles, four pass break-ups and two interceptions
The Brigade take on the Philadelphia Soul in the 2017 AFL Playoffs: Semifinal Round with kickoff set for 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 12 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.