The Soul aren’t letting their 36-point aggregate lead over the Washington Valor change their approach to the semifinal game Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Defensive end Sean Daniels said the defense was preparing to see plays that are out of the ordinary because of the lead the Soul have over the Valor. Daniels said it is particularly important for the defense to dictate the game.
“We expect them to take the playbook and go to the last page, make up another three pages, and pull something out of there,” Daniels said. “They’re going to dig deep and throw anything at us.”
“It’s a lot of guessing because they can honestly do anything,” Daniels said. “In arena football you can get a 50-yard bomb on first-and-1 and it can be a touchdown in three seconds. The game play is so much quicker” than in the NFL.
Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh knows that the Valor defense will try to create takeaways, so the Soul have been focusing on protecting the football.
Raudabaugh completed 17 of 24 passes for 284 yards and six touchdowns in the 69-33 win over the Valor in the first game.
“We did a good job of finding our rhythm early in that last game, so we’re going to try to continue to do that,” Raudabaugh said. “We gave ourselves a really good chance to accomplish our next goal that we’ve set.”
If the Soul eliminate the Valor, they will face either the Albany Empire or Baltimore Brigade in ArenaBowl XXXII.
With the pace of arena football, Raudabaugh said, it’s up to him to keep the offense focused.
“I’m an emotional player, so I’ll get fired up,” Raudabaugh said. “When bad things happen, you have to be the one to remind the guys and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to have another play, so let’s find our focus there.’ ”
Even with the lead, Raudabaugh knows the Soul need to play a complete game in every facet.