EMPIRE DEFEAT SOUL TO CLINCH TOP SEED IN THE PLAYOFFS: BY THE NUMBERS
The Albany Empire (8-4) defeated the Philadelphia Soul (7-5) at the Times Union Center on Saturday night by a score of 71-57 in front of a crowd of 10,082. The Empire finished the season with the highest average home attendance which would mean that Albany would host ArenaBowl XXXI should the Empire make it there. The victory over Philadelphia clinched the number one seed in the Arena Football playoffs for Albany.
|SCORE BY QUARTER||1||2||3||4||FINAL|
The game’s MVP, Tommy Grady had another great performance tallying 21 completions on 29 attempts for 239 yards and 8 touchdowns. On the season, Grady has totaled 228 completions on 341 attempts for a league best 2,960 yards. Grady also finished the regular season leading the league in passing touchdowns with 81 and passer rating with 126.2.
Grady connected with four different receivers on the night. Offensive player of the game, Joe Hills, continued his dominance leading the way with 10 catches for 106 yards and 4 receiving touchdowns. This marked the 92nd consecutive game with a receiving touchdown for Hills, an active league record. Playing eleven games this season, Hills finished with a league-high 33 receiving touchdowns. Hills finished one reception off the league lead with 88 receptions and third in the league with 1,045 receiving yards. Receiver Malachi Jones capped off his great rookie season by adding 6 catches for 86 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jones finished the regular season with a league-high 1,156 receiving yards on the season. Jones finished second in the league with 29 receiving touchdowns and first in the league in total touchdowns with 34. Fullback Mykel Benson gave Empire solid production on the ground, racking up 39 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns on 10 rushing attempts. Receiver Collin Taylor added 4 catches for 46 yards. Greg Carr contributed 1 catch in the red zone for 1 touchdown.
Leading the way on defense was defensive back Marrio Norman who had a game-high 6 total tackles and 1 pass breakup. Norman finished the season tied for second in the league in total tackles with 68.5. Jack linebacker Terence Moore continued his defensive player of the year campaign with 4 total tackles, 1 interception and 1 pass breakup. Moore finished the regular season with a league-best 6 interceptions and is tied with Norman for second in the league in total tackles with 68.5. Defensive back Varmah Sonie added 3.5 total tackles and 1 pass breakup. Sonie finished the season fifth in the league with 56.5.
The Empire hit the road to face the Washington Valor in the Nation’s Capital for the first game of the playoff series on Saturday, July 14, at 7:00 pm at the Capital One Arena. The second game of the series will be a home matchup against the Valor and played on Saturday, July 21, at 7:30 pm in the Times Union Center.
Albany Empire 2018 Inaugural Season Presented By CDPHP.
About Albany Empire
The Arena Football League’s newest franchise, The Albany Empire, are back home at the Times Union Center on 7/21. Tickets for the 7/21 playoff game are on sale now. Season memberships for the 2019 season are on sale now. For tickets, contact the Albany Empire sales department at (518) 533-2200 or by going to TheAlbanyEmpire.com. Follow the team on Facebook at facebook.com/TheAlbanyEmpire and Twitter at twitter.com/Albany_Empire.
About Arena Football League
The Arena Football League will enter its 31st Season in 2018. Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. Teams slated for 2018 include: Albany, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. CBS Sports Network nationally broadcasts AFL games each week, culminating with the ArenaBowl. The AFL launched AFLNow, the League’s streaming “Over-the-Top” network to give fans even more access to the League on arenafootball.com. For all the latest news and discussion on the Arena Football League follow the AFL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@aflarenaball)
About Times Union Center
Albany’s Times Union Center, formerly Pepsi Arena, continues to have great success. Renamed in January 2007, the The Times Union Center is “Upstate New York’s Premier Sports and Entertainment Facility. Owned by Albany County and operated by SMG, the world’s largest private management firm for public assembly facilities, the Times Union Center has an adaptable seating capacity between 6,000 and 17,500. Since Frank Sinatra christened the building on January 30, 1990, more than seven million patrons have walked through the turnstiles. As a multi-purpose facility, the Times Union Center has hosted a variety of events, including concerts, family shows and sporting events, averaging 165 events each year.
Established in 1984, CDPHP is a physician-founded, member-focused and community-based not-for-profit health plan that offers high-quality affordable health insurance plans to members in 24 counties throughout New York. CDPHP is also on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Schenectady, New York, Transfinder is a national leader in intelligent transportation systems, providing transportation management systems and services to school districts, municipalities and adult care facilities. Transfinder, an Inc. magazine “fastest-growing company” for the past eleven straight years, has offices in Austin, Texas, and Shanghai, China. The software company develops and supports routing and scheduling solutions for optimal transportation logistics.