Soul prepare for an ArenaBowl rematch

Emery Sammons and the rest of the Soul left South Philly Wednesday for ArenaBowl XXVI. YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Emery Sammons and the rest of the Soul left South Philly Wednesday for ArenaBowl XXVI. YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Posted: August 16, 2013

For the Soul, the bad news is, to win the ArenaBowl championship, they will have to beat a team that has owned them in their last three meetings.

The good news, if past outcomes truly do matter, is that the Soul are inching ever closer to defeating those pesky Arizona Rattlers.

Arizona thumped the Soul, 72-54, last August to win ArenaBowl XXV.

The Rattlers topped the Soul, 66-52, in this year's season opener March 23 and won the June 1 rematch, 64-57.

This season's Take 3 for the Soul will be at 1 p.m. Saturday in Orlando, with the Arena Football League title on the line.

Arizona, making its third consecutive appearance in the final, will aim for its fourth Arena championship. The Soul have won one title, in 2008.

The Soul have been a different team since that last loss to Arizona, in which they squandered a 15-point lead in the final quarter and lost in the last minute.

The Soul, 5-5 after that defeat, followed it up with seven straight victories - outscoring opponents by 436-272 - before dropping their regular-season finale to the San Antonio Talons, 42-28, to finish 12-6.

Coach Clint Dolezel's team then defeated the Orlando Predators, 59-55, and the Jacksonville Sharks, 75-59, to reach the title matchup.

Arizona, which ended the regular season at 15-3, has won its two playoff games by 59-49 over San Jose and 65-57 over Spokane.

The Rattlers are led by quarterback Nick Davila, who has completed 398 of 620 passes for 5,374 yards and 125 touchdowns.

Dan Raudabaugh, the Soul's quarterback, has clicked on 432 of 634 passes for 5,224 yards and 110 touchdowns. He threw for a season-high eight TDs Saturday against Jacksonville.

Tiger Jones has caught 161 passes for 2,246 yards and 39 TDs for the Soul. He is the first Arena player to reach the 2,000 mark in receiving yards in three straight seasons.

Derrick Ross leads the running attack with 175 rushes for 577 yards, with 39 touchdowns. Ross, a fullback, became the league's all-time rushing leader earlier this season.

ArenaBowl will air live on CBS3.

Contact Lou Rabito

at 215-854-2916


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