The Empire Strikes Back

by Bee Jay Glosson

On May the Fourth be With You day, it was only fitting to see the Albany Empire look to get revenge for their demise in the semi-finals of last years playoffs versus the Valor.

The visiting Valor started the game off strong with a 40 yard TD from Nelson to Epps to get the scoring started in the game. The Valor defense stood tall and got the ball back with a short field for the offense on the next Empire drive, but that would only set up what would become a theme for the Valor on the night, which would be stalling out inside the 10 yard line.

The Valor Offense would go on to lose the ball on downs 3 times inside the 7 yard line and throw a costly interception on the 4 yard line on another drive. For a total of 4 drives, the Valor would fail to score inside the 7. In a league built on offense, it was the Empire’s defense that truly won this game for them.

The 28 points the Valor left off the scoreboard with those turnovers would have turned the tide of the game, where instead of losing by 9 they would have cruised to victory by 19.

Alas, you cant win games on should of, could of, would of.

There was some bright spots in the game for the Valor with Nelson scoring 3 rushing touchdowns and throwing for 250 yards and another touchdown, but that would not be nearly enough with Tommy Grady throwing 5 touchdowns of his own for the Empire. Malachi Jones caught 2 of those touchdowns showing that he is truly in mid-season form.  

The Valor dominated time of possession while holding the ball for more than 32 minutes, and they even got a blocked field goal by Roderick Henderson to stop a Empire drive late. It would just prove to be too little, too late for the Valor.

Arvell Nelson continues his push for MVP by adding 4 more touchdowns, bringing his season total to 12, 9 of those being passing, and tacking on another 250 yards to bring that total after 2 games of the season to 541 yards.

credit: Washington Valor Facebook

The Empire got their revenge on May the fourth, and fittingly did it on the same field that they left the playoffs on last year. Albany and Philadelphia are the last 2 undefeated teams in the league, but as is with all things, this too will come to an end as they meet on the field next week to see who will control the top of the league.

Washington 0-2 on the season will look to win their first game next week in their home opener against Atlantic City, where fans will get to see the championship banner raised in a pregame celebration.

It’s a great time to be an arena fan as all 3 games this week were 9 points or closer, showing that the talent gap is almost non existent. So, if you haven’t picked a team to cheer for yet, there is never a better time to do so than right now.

With the addition of Draft Kings bringing daily fantasy to the league the future is looking bright for the league, and in its 32nd year it continues to grow and find new innovative ways to change the game and it’s influence.

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