Washington wins third consecutive game in first-ever meeting with Destroyers
News Release, Washington Valor
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Valor (3-2) defeated the Columbus Destroyers (0-5), 29-27, Saturday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Valor scored twice in the final 16 seconds – a safety that cut the lead to four and a nine-yard, game-winning touchdown pass from quarterback Arvell Nelson to wide receiver Douglas McNeil III as time expired. Washington has now won three consecutive games after starting the season 0-2.
VALOR NOTES & QUOTES
- Columbus got on the board first, taking a 7-0 lead on a 16-yard pass from quarterback Grant Russell to wideout Fabian Guerra with 7:57 left in the first quarter, marking the first time this season the Valor failed to score first.
- Nelson threw for 214 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Nelson’s first passing touchdown marked the 200th passing touchdown of his career, coming with 4:26 remaining in the third quarter on a seven-yard pass to McNeil III.
- Valor linebacker Alvin Ray Jackson, who entered the game leading the Valor in tackling, recorded five total tackles, including the 400th solo tackle of his career.
- McNeil III, playing in his second game of the season, scored a pair of touchdowns, including the game-winner, giving him three total touchdowns this season.
- Washington’s first score of the game, a seven-yard run by Nelson, gave the eight-year AFL veteran 50 career rushing touchdowns. Nelson is one of 24 players to rush for 50 or more touchdowns.
- Valor wide receiver Jared Dangerfield caught five passes for 45 yards and has now caught 5+ passes in each game this season.
- Valor kicker Pat Clarke hit 3-3 extra point attempts and has now made 14 of his last 15 PATs.
VALOR HEAD COACH BENJI MCDOWELL
On the game
“We just kept fighting and didn’t quit. We had opportunities late in the game and we took advantage of them. To get the first road win of the season is big. We have some things we can learn from this one. We have to cut back on some penalties. If we clean up on some of the sloppiness, we will be in good shape going forward.”
On becoming more consistent throughout games
“These guys just want to win. They have to figure out what it means to win on a consistent basis as opposed to just pulling it together late in the game. We have to get to a point where we win every play and every quarter. That will take away some of penalties and the slow starts that we’ve dealt with this season.”
NEXT TIME OUT
The Valor are back in action next Saturday, June 1, taking on the Albany Empire at 3:30 p.m. at Times Union Center in the second of three consecutive road games. The game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Washington and ESPN3. The Valor return to Capital One Arena on Saturday, June 15, hosting the Albany Empire at 7 p.m.