Soul gain much-needed win over Rush, 72-41
The Soul not only needed a win heading into Saturday night, but they needed a confidence builder as well.
The lost their second game in a row last week to the Jacksonville Sharks and fell below .500 for the first time since 2011.
They got them both during a 72-41 destruction of the Chicago Rush in front of 4,722 fans at the All State Arena in Rosemont, Ill.
The Soul (3-3) never trailed the Rush (4-3) during the blowout. In essence, the game was rarely in doubt.
The Soul opened a 14-0 lead in the first quarter after a Ryan McDaniel 16-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Dan Raudabaugh and a 10-yard touchdown run from fullback Derrick Ross.
The Rush finally got on the board after quarterback Carson Coffman connected with receiver Reggie Gray on an 18-yard score to make it 14-7.
The Soul and Rush then traded scores to end the first quarter at 21-14.
The Soul began to stretch their lead in the second quarter by outscoring the Rush 17-7 with the help of a defensive stop. The Soul held a 38-21 lead at halftime.
The defense forced three more stops in the second half, including two interceptions.
That combined with the offense scoring on every possession but one resulted in the Soul dominating the Rush in the second half and outscoring them 34-20.
Soul head coach Clint Dolezel said earlier in the week that the Soul's problems simply boiled down to too many turnovers on offense and the lack of forcing them on defense.
The Soul seemed to have taken heed to his words as the offense didn't commit any turnovers Saturday whereas the defense forced three.
Raudabaugh completed 22-of-34 passes for 240 yards and six touchdowns, but more importantly he did not throw an interception for the second week in a row.
Leading the Soul in the receiving department was Tiger Jones who caught 13 passes for 135 yards and three total touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing).
"We scored every time on offense, got turnovers on defense and played well on special teams," Dolezel said via a team press release. When you get that kind of production, you will usually win games. It is a reflection of a great couple weeks of practice and exactly what the doctor ordered for our overall confidence."
The dominant win marks the first time the Soul looked anything like the conference championship team from a season ago where they won almost every game in a romp.
The confidence could continue to rise when the Soul host the Pittsburgh Power at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, May 11 at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Power (1-5) have struggled mightily all season, losing to the Rush earlier in the year, 45-14, and losing to the formerly winless Orlando Predators Saturday night, 52-38.