Image courtesy Arena Football League

Defending Champs knocked out after 48-41 defeat

Nelson leads Washington with 363 passing yards, five total touchdowns as Philadelphia advances to ArenaBowl 32

News Release, Washington Valor

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Washington Valor (7-5, 0-2), were defeated by the Philadelphia Soul (7-5, 2-0), 48-41, Sunday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa. With the loss, Washington falls, 117-74, in aggregate scoring in the two-game semifinal series. Philadelphia advances to take on the Albany Empire (10-2, 2-0) in ArenaBowl 32. Valor quarterback Arvell Nelson threw for 363 yards and scored five total touchdowns (four passing, one rushing) and was named Offensive Player of the Game.

The Valor close the 2019 season with seven wins, more than the team registered in its first two seasons combined. Washington’s offense averaged 44.8 points per game, the highest in franchise history while Nelson set a number of single-season franchise records in 2019: completions (240), attempts (412), passing yards (2,980), passing touchdowns (54), rushing attempts (75), rushing yards (226) and rushing touchdowns (19).


  • With 4:37 left in the first half, Nelson found wideout Josh Reese for a 17-yard score, surpassing 2,000 career postseason passing yards.
  • Nelson’s five-touchdown performance marked the 11th time this season he scored 5+ touchdowns in a game.
  • For the 5th time this season, four different Valor receivers caught a touchdown pass: Dezmon Epps (1), Douglas McNeil III (1), Josh Reese (1) and Reggie Gray (1).
  • Valor wide receiver Douglas McNeil III caught seven passes for 92 yards and a touchdown and has now recorded at least one touchdown reception in each of his six career postseason games.
  • Valor wideout Dezmon Epps led the team in with 114 receiving yards and a touchdown on six catches, his third game this season with 100+ receiving yards.


On the team’s performance despite entering the game facing a 36-point deficit:

“Whenever you play in a game knowing you’re in a hole like this, that puts a little something extra on it. I could tell the guys were fighting and trying, but when it didn’t work, it hit them hard. But they didn’t quit. They kept fighting. If we had this same fight last week, we would be playing in the ArenaBowl – without a doubt. But you live and you learn. Guys played hard all season with a target on their back and there were only a few times where we let it go. Hopefully, we will get a lot of these guys back next season and they’ll come back hungry and ready to go.”

On what he will remember about this team:

“I’ll remember the way they fought, no matter what happened throughout the season. All but two of our games this year were decided by single digits. This team fights and that’s the biggest thing. Last year, it came on at the end, but this year, we fought all season.”

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