Early deficit sinks Force in Philly



PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Soul (3-6) won their first home game of the season by forcing four Georgia turnovers and capitalizing offensively, outscoring the Force 47-28 at the half, and finishing with a 68-49 victory in front of 7,551 fans.

The 47-point first half ties a Soul (3-6) all-time record for most points in a half, set in 2007 at the Austin Wranglers.

Soul quarterback Ryan Vena completed 20 of 28 passes for 320 yards and seven touchdowns while adding two touchdowns on the ground. Donovan Morgan had five catches for 135 yards and four touchdowns. Syvelle Newton added 124 yards and a touchdown on nine catches and Keith Stokes recorded 46 yards and a touchdown on five catches.

The Soul (3-6) opened up the scoring at 12:23 with a 38-yard, one-handed, touchdown catch by Newton. After the Force (5-4) responded to take a 7-6 lead, the Soul struck back with a 15-yard touchdown reception by Darnell Whitely.

Georgia wide receiver Maurice Purify had three first-half touchdown receptions, including two in the second quarter, but Morgan had three and the Soul had a 47-28 lead at the half.

The third quarter opened with a 56-yard kick return for a touchdown by C.J. Johnson of the Force, his fourth of the year.

Damian Walker of the Soul added a 5-yard rushing touchdown, which was soon followed by Purify finding the end zone for his fifth time of the game on a 9-yard pass, cutting the Soul’s lead to 54-42 going into the final frame.

But Vena’s second rushing touchdown of the game at 11:53 and Morgan’s 35-yard touchdown reception put the game out of reach.