Philadelphia Soul wide receiver Chris Duvalt evades Washington Valor Bernard Morris during Philadelphia's 49-31 win at Verizon Center in Northwest on April 22. (John E. De Freitas/The Washington Informer)
Philadelphia Soul wide receiver Chris Duvalt evades Washington Valor Bernard Morris during Philadelphia's 49-31 win at Verizon Center in Northwest on April 22. (John E. De Freitas/The Washington Informer)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Valor dropped their first game of the season Saturday night, a 49-31 loss to the defending champion Philadelphia Soul at Verizon Center.

Valor QB Erik Meyer and WR Mike Washington continued to display an early-season rapport, connecting for two more first-half touchdowns.

“Good first half for us,” Valor head coach Dean Cokinos said. “The game is all about possessions, so as we saw in the second half, they made more plays than we did. The game is about controlling the football and when you give it up on offense the game turns quickly.”

The Valor started strong, opening the game on a 14-0 run, sparked by a 4th-and-inches touchdown run from backup QB Bernard Morris on the team’s opening drive.

Washington followed with its first defensive touchdown in team history as DB Tracy Belton intercepted and returned Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh’s pass on the 8-yard-line.

Philadelphia got on the board with 8:27 in the first quarter when Raudabaugh hit receiver Darius Reynolds for the 34-yard touchdown.

Washington closed the first quarter on the first of Mike Washington’s two touchdowns of the game, a 16-yard reception he gathered off a deflection of teammate T.T. Toliver’s hands.

The team’s traded scores and the Valor entered halftime with a 31-28 lead. Washington struggled to generate offense in the second half while Soul WR Shaun Kauleinamoku hauled in two second-half touchdowns, leading Philadelphia to a 49-31 final.

“We just didn’t make enough plays, but we’re going to learn,” Cokinos explained. “We’ll learn from this game and we’ll move on to Cleveland next week. It was a good second step for us as an organization.”

Next for the Valor is it franchise’s first road game. Washington heads to Cleveland for a matchup with the Gladiators with kickoff set for 7 p.m. on Friday, April 28 at Quicken Loans Arena. The game will be broadcast on Monumental Sports Network.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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