As of Sunday afternoon, the Soul still was looking for a replacement. Connor Hughes, who kicked for the Soul earlier this year, is among the candidates. Massimo Scaccia and Delaware alum Jon Striefsky kicked for the Soul in 2011 and will be considered.
The Soul was forced to go for two-point conversions following its final three touchdowns and wide receiver Emery Sammons and defensive back LaRico Stevenson did the best they could with the ensuing kickoffs, but New Orleans netted great field position each time.
"The last time I kicked was in Pop Warner league and I was about 8 years old," Sammons laughed.
The Soul overcame a sluggish start and did not take the lead for good until Derrick Ross' 1-yard touchdown plunge with just over a minute left in the third. Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh missed on his first four passes, but settled in and threw for seven touchdowns and no interceptions.
The top-seeded Soul's conference final opponents, the second-seeded Sharks, survived their first-round game when their kicker, Marco Capozzoli, hit a 51-yard field goal at the buzzer to stun upstart Georgia, 58-56.
The Soul handled Jacksonville twice in the regular season, winning the two meetings by 18 and 35 points, respectively. Jaworski says the 2012 team is starting to remind him of the club that won the AFL title 4 years ago.
"This team has determination and it is reminiscent of our '08 team," he said. "If you remember the New York [first-round] game, we won on the last play. That's what this game was like. We'll play a lot better next week. We'll play a lot looser."
In the National Conference: Maurice Purify had 10 catches, including four for touchdowns, as second-seeded Arizona held off No. 3 San Jose, 51-48, on Saturday night. The Rattlers will host fourth-seeded Utah on Saturday, 10 p.m. EDT. The Blaze stunned top-seeded San Antonio, 35-34, on Friday night … The Soul thumped Utah (69-34) in the regular-season finale, but did not play Arizona … The ArenaBowl championship is Friday, Aug. 10 at New Orleans Arena. It has been moved back to a 10:30 EDT start because the NFL Network wants to televise a Jets-Bengals preseason game.
Contact Ed Barkowitz at email@example.com.