COLUMBUS, Ohio - Clint Stoerner found himself taking most of the snaps for the Soul in Saturday's practice.

Two days later against Columbus, Stoerner started for Philadelphia in only his fourth day as a member of the team.

With so little time spent among his new teammates, Stoerner and the Soul's 18th-ranked offense struggled, allowing Columbus to cruise to a 44-21 Arena Football League victory in front of 14,664 fans at Nationwide Arena.

"It was the situation that was presented to me," Stoerner said. "Knowing the offense, knowing the verbiage was not a problem. I left probably 21 points out there myself. I missed reads, but it is what it is and it happened. I got to move on and keep getting better."

Stoerner's problems began on the Soul's second offensive play of the game as he fumbled the snap and Columbus recovered. Although the Soul (4-3) held the Destroyers without points, it was a foreshadow of Stoerner's night.

Stoerner finished 23-for-37 for 241 yards and two touchdowns and he fumbled three times.

"We had a simple game plan," Soul coach Bret Munsey said. "But at the end of the day, the receivers struggled and Clint struggled a little bit, no doubt about it."

The Destroyers moved into a second-place tie with the Soul in the Eastern Division at 4-3 behind leading Dallas (7-1).

Philadelphia scored the second-fewest points in a game in franchise history. The Soul scored 20 last year in a loss to Columbus.

Munsey decided to start Stoerner over Juston Wood. Last Monday, Wood replaced Tony Graziani, who suffered a sprained left (throwing) shoulder in a 51-41 loss to Dallas and will miss 4 to 6 weeks as he was placed on injured reserve.

Wood finished 18-for-37 with five touchdowns but had three fourth-quarter interceptions against Dallas.

"I felt Clint had the experience and gave us the best chance to win," Munsey said.

Meanwhile, Columbus' Damien Groce scored three touchdowns in the first half as the Destroyers took a 20-10 halftime lead. Groce finished with nine catches for 116 yards and two receiving touchdowns. He also had two rushing touchdowns.

Columbus quarterback Matt Nagy was 16-for-28 for 208 yards and three touchdowns.

"When we got going, both Matt and Damien understand each other and feel comfortable with each other," Columbus coach Doug Kay said.

Columbus has defeated the Soul in their last four meetings, and it was the second time this season the Destroyers defeated Stoerner. As a member of the Nashville Kats, he lost to Columbus, 58-56, on March 1, despite throwing five touchdown passes.

Stoerner was waived by the Kats last month and was sidelined until the Soul came calling last week.

"I don't know what's going to happen," Stoerner said. "I'm going to show up for work, bring my hard hat and see what happens. I did the best I could out there and I feel comfortable with that. I hate to come out on the short end of it, but it wasn't for a lack of effort, that's for sure." *