The 30th edition of the Arena Bowl was a defensive battle in the first quarter. In a game that the referees called tight, flags were a common sight in this championship game.
As both offenses got a feel for the opposing defense, the Storm scored off a missed field goal that Kendrick Ings returned for a touchdown, giving the Storm a 6-0 lead.
The Philadelphia Soul looked lost offensively early on, not taking advantage of holes on the Storm defense.
Soul Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh missed several open targets and receivers dropped a distinct number of passes, making a scoring drive all but impossible. However, as the game went on, Raudabaugh settled down and hit wide-receiver Darius Prince in the end zone to give the Soul a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter.
The Storm responded with a passing touchdown of their own, giving themselves a 13-7 lead over the reigning champions.
After throwing a pick six and giving the Storm a 20-7 lead, Soul Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh suffered a leg injury that after the game would turn out to be one to the ACL, but returned during the next offensive drive.
Still visibly injured, Raudabaugh and the Soul struggled to move the ball with little depth at the wide-receiver position due to injuries. The Soul would again find their groove, despite not having their top receivers, scoring on a Mykel Benson run.
The Storm secondary brought the heat in the first half, punishing any Soul receiver who dared to catch anything Raudabaugh threw their way.
The Soul looked like an entirely different team than in their previous outings, having trouble moving the ball against a team that they dominated in the regular season. On the other hand, Quarterback Randy Hippeard and Wide-Receiver Joe Hills looked outstanding for the Storm.
The Tampa Bay Storm led at the half, 20-14, with the Philadelphia Soul receiving the ball to start the third quarter. While the first half of the game may have been a defensive battle, the second would turn into an offensive showing.
After dropping a pair of touchdown passes earlier in the game, wide receiver Darius Reynolds of the Soul hauled in a bomb to give his team its first lead of the game.
After taking a one point lead, the Storm struck back to take the lead again off a deep pass to Kendrick Ings, making the score 27-21, in favor of the Storm. The Soul would score once more in the third quarter, making the score 28-27 in their favor heading into the fourth.
As the Soul began to drive down the field, Dan Raudabaugh of the Soul could be seen limping in an uncomfortable manner.
Nevertheless, he would stay in the game and find Darius Prince in the end zone again, making the score 35-27 in favor of the Soul.
On the following Storm possession, Storm Quarterback Randy Hippeard would be sacked in his own end zone, adding to the Soul lead. Rather than give the ball back to the soul with 7:25 remaining in the game, the Storm gambled on an onside kick in which they recovered.
Hippeard would then connect on a deep pass which led to a touchdown, making the score 34-37 in favor of the Soul. Dan Raudabaugh of the Soul would connect with Shaun Kauleinamoku to score, giving the Soul a 44-34 lead with 4:03 remaining in the game.
Randy Hippeard and the Storm would attempt to make a comeback, but after throwing an interception, the Soul would drain the clock, guaranteeing a win and repeating as Arena Bowl Champions.
Dan Raudabaugh, quarterback for the Philadelphia Soul finished his second Arena Bowl game by going 20/34 232 yards, 4 Touchdowns, and an INT.
Raudabaugh also had a rushing attempt that went for 12 yards. Shaun Kauleinamoku led the racing group for the Soul with 8 receptions, 81 yards, TD.
Finally, the leader of the running back group is Mykel Benson. His night ended with 15 rushes, 17 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
As for head coach Client Doizel, this is his second Arena Bowl title.