PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Soul will open the playoffs late on Saturday afternoon when they welcome the Baltimore Brigade to the Center for a semi-final match-up.
The Soul wrapped up a 13-1 regular season this past weekend with a 41-28 win over Tampa Bay in South Philadelphia.
“We sat some guys going into the game (with everything clinched),” Soul head coach Clint Dolezel tells KYW Newsradio. “Just because of our limited roster we can only sit so many people. We were able to sit two guys and then got to get (back-up quarterback) Luke Collis in the game in the second half, which he deserves. He’s a great guy, does a good job on the football field.”
The Soul are looking for a second-straight AFL title and have to be considered the prohibitive favorite to reach the top of the mountain again, but Dolezel says they are taking nothing for granted.
“We are playing well,” Dolezel says. “There’s no doubt about that. We do know, though, anything can happen in arena football. [Baltimore gave them] our one loss, too. We avenged that loss last time we played them two weeks ago, but the iron, the netting, the refs, there’s just so much can go into the football game that you just can’t control. So we’ve really preached on just playing perfect. Playing perfect means just doing your job as an individual. So if we can do that, we feel like we’ll come out on top most times.”
That win over the Soul is one of just four the Brigade grabbed during the regular season as they finished 4-10. Dolezel scouts their strengths.
“Number one is their pass rush,” he says. “They probably have the second best pass rush, after us, in the league. After that it’s their skill guys. They’ve got really, really good skill guys on both sides of the ball. They’ve got two receivers that can shake you at any time and go win on a route.”
The winner of this game plays the winner of Cleveland and Tampa Bay in the ArenaBowl in two weeks.