by David Taylor
It has been a rough season for the Destroyers as they head to 0-5 after a heartbreaking loss to the Washington Valor in one of the craziest games of football at any level I’ve ever seen.
Meanwhile, who’s going to stop the Empire? Albany is now 5-0, going on the road and knocking off the BlackJacks. Albany has not faced Baltimore yet this season, and in a couple of weeks they may need to be the Rebel Alliance and lead the charge onto the Death Star.
Speaking of the Brigade, I never had a doubt in my mind. As the only member of the AFL Fan Zone staff to pick Baltimore to defeat Philadelphia, I was disappointed in the play by the Soul this week. So far, the Soul have not impressed me this season and will need to kick it into another gear if they want to have a shot at the ArenaBowl.
Week Five Results:
Washington 29 – Columbus 27
Albany 54 – Atlantic City 35
Baltimore 45 – Philadelphia 30
Good Gravy, Grady!
Last week, Tommy Grady threw his 805th career touchdown. This week, he finished with 228 yards and five touchdowns, moving him past Andy Kelly to fifth all time with now 810 passing touchdowns.
Randy Hippeard was solid for the BlackJacks, throwing for 246 yards and four touchdowns himself.
Dan Raudabaugh struggled, going 15-of-34 for 220 yards and three touchdowns, while Shane Boyd went 18-of-24 for 164 yards and four touchdowns.
And while Arvell Nelson didn’t wow anybody with his stats, he did throw the last second touchdown to win the game over Columbus and threw his 200th career touchdown pass
Jones in the Fast Lane
Who’s going to stop Malachi Jones? Since returning to the league from the AAF, Malachi Jones has been a terror on opposing teams secondaries. This week, Jones had 12 receptions for 106 yards and three touchdowns.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, Kendrick Ings of the BlackJacks had 11 receptions for 106 yards and three touchdowns, continuing his fantastic season.
And in Baltimore, four different receivers caught a touchdown in the Brigade win over the Soul.
The Craziest Football Game I’ve Ever Seen
Columbus and Washington engaged in one of the craziest football games I’ve seen in awhile.
The Destroyers lead 21-7 at the half, and looked like they were going to get their first win of the season. But after a come back by Washington, a goal line stand by the Destroyer defense and then an intentional grounding call in the end zone, the Valor had the ball with 12 seconds left and down 27-23. When the dust settled, a last second walk off touchdown pass Arvell Nelson to Doug McNeil put the cherry on top of the sundae of crazy.
This game finished with 22 total penalties for 162 yards, 13 for Columbus 88 yards and nine for Washington for 74 yards, for the most combined penalties in an AFL game since last season when Philadelphia and Albany combined for 22 penalties as well.
Also, this is the first time an AFL team had won a game scoring less than 30 points since the Orlando Predators defeated the Georgia Force 27-24 in 2012.
While many people head into Arena Football games expecting high scoring, this game really captured the craziness and fun the Arena Football League brings every single week.
This Week’s Games
June 1, 2019
Washington Valor (3-2) @ Albany Empire (5-0) — 3:30 PM
Baltimore Brigade (3-2) @ Atlantic City Blackjacks (2-3) — 3:30 PM
Columbus Destroyers (0-5) @ Philadelphia Soul (2-3) — 7:00 PM