Valor Defeat Blackjacks in Season Home Opener 41-34

Nelson breaks 10,000 career passing yards, named MVP

News Release, Washington Valor

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Valor (1-2) earned their first win of the season as they defeated the Atlantic City Blackjacks (1-2) in their season home opener 41-43 at Capitol One Arena in Washington, D.C. Quarterback Arvell Nelson set a new career-high as he surpassed 10,000 career passing yards on his first throw of the night. Nelson totaled five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing).

Washington returns to Capital One Arena for their second home game of the season on Saturday, May 18 against the Philadelphia Soul at 3:30 p.m. The game will broadcast live on NBC Sports Washington and ESPN3.

VALOR NOTES & QUOTES

  • Nelson was the first to add points to the scoreboard with a 32-yard rushing touchdown, his first of two. Nelson completed 21 passes for 178 yards and three touchdowns.
  • Defensive lineman Jame Atoe sacked Atlantic City’s quarterback Randy Hippeard during the first quarter. His first of the season.
  • Valor wide receiver Reggie Gray scored two receiving touchdowns and ran for one. With his third reception of the night, Gray moved into 12th place on the AFL’s all-time reception list. He now has 847 career receptions.
  • An interception in the second quarter by defensive back Mario Norman prevented Atlantic City from catching a touchdown pass in the endzone. Norman also racked up four total tackles (three solo) and one pass breakup.
  • For the second consecutive week, Wide receiver Jared Dangerfield led the team in receiving yards with 85. He set a new career-high yet again with 10 receptions, topping the previous high of nine he set last week against Albany.
  • Defensive back Jadar Johnson led the Valor in total tackles with seven (six solo).

Nelson threw three touchdowns and now is just six shy of 200 for his AFL career and 11 short for 50 pass touchdowns with the Valor.

VALOR HEAD COACH BENJI MCDOWELL

On raising the banner

“Today’s game really helped us get over this hump. We were dealing with the championship festivities and it’s been on us for the past 8+ months and now we were able to get the banner up and move on to this year. I think today’s game showed that we still have a couple of things that we would like to do better but to get a win when guys are injured is great. Raising the banner was the last event for us and now we can pack it up and put 2018 in 2018 and focus on 2019.”

On the improved secondary

“Last year’s secondary was injured. Many of those players are back this year and we have a couple of new guys that we added like Marrio Norman and Jadar Johnson. All of them made plays. They are healthy, they have learned from last year. Marrio is a veteran in this league so he picked it up very quickly so did Jadar.”

QUARTERBACK ARVELL NELSON

On first win of the season

“It always feels good to get a win, especially in front of your home crowd with the energy that they brought. It was a special night because we put 2018 in the past and now, we’re moving forward.”

On the performance of the offense

“We just want to get on the same page and take care of the small things. If we take care of the small things, then good things will come. We took care of the small things tonight and ended up with a victory.”

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