The Soul’s defense turned a corner three weeks ago, and despite some hiccups along the way, it seems to have gained some momentum by beating Atlantic City on Sunday.
“Focus. We’re a lot more focused," defensive back Torez Jones said. “We trust in what we see.”
Coincidentally, the resurgence started with this week’s opponent, the expansion Columbus Destroyers. The Soul (4-4) will face the Destroyers at 7 p.m., Saturday, at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The Destroyers are 1-7, last in the six-team Arena Football League, and averaging a league-worst 34 points.
The Soul are coming off a 54-29 win over Atlantic City, the point totals representing season bests for its offense and defense. The defense is tied with Albany for the league lead in interceptions with nine, with one in each of the last three games.
Jones, the AFL defensive player of the week after a 47-35 win over Columbus three weeks ago, said his teammates trusted their instincts in that game. Because they have faced every team, they know everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.
“We don’t expect them to do the exact same thing, but kind of the same things, but with a twist,” Jones said.
The biggest challenge Saturday will be containing Fabian Guerra, the reigning league rookie of the year. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound receiver, who played for Fairmont State University (W.Va.), is averaging 83 yards and almost two touchdowns a game. The Soul held him scoreless in three weeks ago.
“As long as we ... keep our eyes on him and don’t let him kind of get behind us or get in our blind spots, we should be fine,” Jones said.
The Soul needs to ignore the Destroyers’ record, he said. Columbus surprised Atlantic City, 54-50, two weeks ago.