PHILADELPHIA, PA – (May 11, 2013) – The Pittsburgh Power (2-5, 1-0) and newcomers Steven Sheffield and James Robinson stunned the Philadelphia Soul (3-4, 0-2) in a 53-48 win in front of 8,098 at Wells Fargo Center Saturday night. The win puts Pittsburgh one game back of Philadelphia in the American Conference East Division.
Philadelphia started off the scoring with two straight touchdowns. Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh completed passes to Ryan McDaniel and Larry Brackins to put the Soul up 14-0 early in the first. Sheffield and the Power answered with a 38-yard pass to the newly activated James Robinson. Sheffield then connected on a 6-yard touchdown pass to Mike Washington. The Soul would score once more to end the quarter leading, 21-7.
Pittsburgh showed new life in the second quarter, with Sheffield throwing for three more touchdowns. Two of those were caught by Robinson – his first and second of the season. An apparent third touchdown pass to Robinson was nullified by a Power penalty. Ultimately it was Philadelphia, even with failed back-to-back on-side kick attempts, who came out on top at the end of the half, leading 35-27. The Power’s 27 points were the most scored in a half since their season opener against Utah.
Pittsburgh started the second half on offense, and wasted no time getting back on the scoreboard. Sheffield found Robinson once again to pull within one point of the Soul. Philadelphia answered right back with a 55-yard kick-off return by James Romain, which was the AFL Highlight Of The Game. After an interception in the endzone by Philadelphia’s LaRico Stevenson, the Soul scored once again to lead 48-34. The Power struck back quickly as Sheffield connected with Washington on a 38-yard touchdown pass, which ended up nabbing Cutters Catch of the Game honors. On the ensuing kickoff, the Power got the ball back on a net recovery by fullback Kirby Griffin to end the quarter. Philadelphia led, 48-40.
Starting on Philadelphia’s 4-yard line, Mike Washington, the Russell Athletic Offensive Player Of The Game, ran the ball in for his fourth touchdown of the evening. After another missed extra point attempt – their third of the game – the Power still trailed Philadelphia, 48-46. The Soul then turned the ball over on downs and the Power got the ball back once again. In just three plays, Sheffield found Robinson for the fourth time to give Pittsburgh their first lead of the game, 53-48. The Soul fought back, but were stopped just short of the goal line on a game-changing defensive stand by the Power. Pittsburgh’s defense would come up big one more time, when Sergio Gilliam stopped Philadelphia’s chance at a comeback with an acrobatic interception over the endzone boards, sealing the Power’s second straight road win and second win of the season.
Sheffield finished the game with 272 yards passing and six touchdowns. Washington and Robinson both finished with four touchdowns each. Philadelphia’s Tiger Jones, who earned J. Lewis Playmaker Of The Game honors, had 124 all-purpose yards and quarterback Dan Raudabaugh threw for four touchdowns and 288 yards.
Pittsburgh returns home next Saturday, May 18, to face the Tampa Bay Storm (5-3) at CONSOL Energy Center. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. EDT. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a free Power t-shirt, compliments of Mr. Rooter Plumbing and as always, $1 Smith’s Hot Dogs and $1 7UP Fountain Drinks will be available for all fans.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Mike Washington – Pittsburgh
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Bryan Robinson – Philadelphia
J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME
Tiger Jones – Philadelphia
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME
Pittsburgh’s Mike Washington’s 38-yard touchdown reception in the 3rd Quarter
AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
Philadelphia’s James Romaine’s 55-yard kickoff return for touchdown in the 3rd Quarter