Soul win third ArenaBowl title with 44-40 win over Tampa Bay
Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh finished 20 of 34 for 232 passing yards and four touchdowns.
The Soul's quest for their second straight and third overall ArenaBowl title came to fruition Saturday night with a 44-40 win over the Tampa Bay Storm at the Wells Fargo Center.
With the come-from-behind win, the Soul have three championship banners to their credit.
"It's exciting," Soul head coach Clint Dolezel said. "I'm glad for the city. I'm glad for my players. They bought in to what we do. It's a system that if you don't buy into it, things don't always go that way. You have to have the right players for it."
The underdog Storm made their presence felt early, taking a 20-7 lead at 5 minutes, 44 second when Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
The Soul quarterback completed just 47.6 percent of his passes in an erratic first half. Drops, penalties, and a missed field goal put the Soul in trouble early.
"It wasn't necessarily all what they were doing," the coach said. "It was what we were doing incorrectly. So we knew that it was just a matter of time to settle down, make the plays when they were there."
On the interception, Raudabaugh went down with an apparent leg injury and missed the first snap on the following drive. He was noticeably limping throughout the rest of the contest, but the star quarterback played the rest of the way.
"We had a lot of beat-up people out there," Dolezel said. "We were more beat up than we let on. A lot of guys fought through a lot of injuries."
Raudabaugh and his defense engineered a 37-20 spurt that included three second-half touchdowns from the Soul quarterback to put the game out of reach. A touchdown from the Storm as time expired made the outcome look closer than what it was.