Rattlers fall to Soul in ArenaBowl

BY foxsports • August 26, 2016

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dan Raudabaugh threw six touchdown passes and the Philadelphia Soul won their second ArenaBowl title, beating the Arizona Rattlers 56-42 on Friday night.

Raudabaugh was 20 of 36 for 278 yards. Shaun Kauleinamoku was selected the game MVP after leading the Soul in receiving with eight catches for 110 yards and three touchdowns.

"I couldn't be more proud of this team and this organization," Soul coach Clint Dolezel said. "We have worked extremely hard for six months to get to this point and it is fantastic to see our hard work pay off."

Philadelphia improved to 2-2 in championship games. The Soul beat San Jose in 2008 and lost to Arizona in 2012 and 2013.

"Congratulations to Philadelphia," Rattlers coach Kevin Guy said. "I thought they played a hard game. ... We thought we were going to give them a ball game and we did. We had a chance to go up there in the fourth quarter and take the lead, but we fell short."

The game was played at Gila River Arena, home of the NHL's Arizona Coyotes, because the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury had a game at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Arizona's Nick Davila was 23 of 38 for 281 yards and four touchdowns. Maurice Purify had nine receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns.

With Philadelphia leading 56-42, the Rattlers were in position to make it a one-possession game, but James Romain intercepted Davila's pass in the end zone with 48 seconds left.

The Soul raced to a 21-0 lead. Raudabaugh opened the scoring on the first possession with a 16-yard pass to Darius Reynolds. Dwayne Hollis returned a fumble 49 yards for a touchdown, and Tracy Belton recovered the kickoff in the end zone for another score.

"We got behind early," Guy said. "We came out and fumbled on the 1-yard line. I thought our guys showed great character trying to get back in the game."

The Soul maintained a lead of at least two touchdowns throughout the first half, but a pair of TD passes from Davila to Rod Windsor twice pulled the Rattlers within one score in the third quarter. The Rattlers finally pulled even on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Davila to Purify with 14:09 left, but it would be Arizona's final score.

The Soul responded with an 11-yard pass to Kauleinamoku to regain the lead with 5:46 to play, and after the Rattlers fumbled, Raudabaugh connected again with Kauleinamoku for a 30-yard touchdown pass with 3:03 left.