by Bee Jay Glosson
The last time these two teams met on the turf was ArenaBowl 31, where the Valor shocked the Brigade on their own floor. We got a great rematch that lived up to all the hype heading into the season. The dislike between the two teams was evident from the very beginning of the game. It was chippy early and often with a lot of talking, pushing and shoving going on almost every play. So much so that the brigade had the first ejection of the season.
With over 100 points scored between the two teams, there was plenty to keep all fans interested and entertained. Arvell Nelson picked up right where he left off last season throwing 8 TD passes and accumulating 391 yards in the air. Even though the offense looked pretty good for the Valor it was the special teams that shot themselves in the foot all night long.
Four missed extra points by kicker Patrick Clarke along with poor kickoff coverage that saw many long returns putting the Valor defense on its heels time and time again. Even with 2 costly interceptions and the special teams woes the Valor kept it close with the Brigade all night long. No lead was ever more than 14 at any time and with the score being 59-51 with less than 2 minutes left the Valor still had a shot at the tie late before the Brigade’s defense stood tall and stopped the defending champs om the last drive to secure the win for Charm City.
Another beltway game in the books and another classic game between these two teams. The Valor continue the road trip next week as they travel to Albany to face the empire.
In team news, Doug McNeil when interviewed said, “We know who we are and we know we can compete, we are coming together well and can expect big things from the Valor.” In street clothes for the game Doug also stated that he has signed a CFL contract, and wont see the field for the Valor again this year. It’s a big void to fill for the other wideouts but Josh Reese and Dezmon Epps look up the task with both having multiple scores tonight.
If game 1 of the season is a sign of things to come, we are in for a heck of a ride this year.