Digest (Aug. 11): Brigade make initial foray into AFL playoffs

The Baltimore Brigade continues its inaugural Arena Football League season with a playoff appearance. The fourth-seeded Brigade (4-10) take on the the defending champion and top-seeded Philadelphia Soul (13-1) in the semifinal round today at 4 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The winner will advance to ArenaBowl XXX and take on the winner of the other semifinal matchup between second-seeded Tampa Bay and third-seeded Cleveland. The Brigade are the first expansion franchise to make the playoffs in their inaugural season since the Portland Thunder in 2014 and will look to become the first expansion franchise to win a playoff game since the Spokane Shock in 2010. Expansion teams are just 10-22 all-time in postseason games, including winning just four road games. The last time an expansion team won a postseason game was in 2010 when the Spokane Shock won ArenaBowl XXIII. Receiver Reggie Gray paces the Brigade offense, leading the team in receptions (69) and receiving touchdowns (15) despite missing four games due to injury. The Soul is led by quarterback Dan Raudabaugh, starting all 14 games on his way to 82 touchdown passes and 226.8 passing yards per game and setting the pace for an offense that leads the league in points per game (58.2). Raudabaugh has 23 touchdowns in four games against the Brigade.

Track & field

Owings Mills club bringshome Junior Olympic gold

At the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympic Games from July 31 to Aug. 5, 44 local athletes represented the Owings Mills Track Club and competed in Ypsilanti, Michigan, against more than 1,000 qualifiers from around the country. Elise Cooper won gold in the 100- and 200-meter dashes for the 10-year-old girls division, setting a new 200m record in the preliminary round. Adrianna Thomas was second in the 12-year-old girls long jump and sixth in the 100-meter dash. Ella Cooper was fourth in the 12-year-old girls 200-meter dash. Sage Hinton was fifth in the 12-year-old girls 400-meter dash, while Kennedy Roberts was sixth in the 12-year-old girls 80-meter hurdles. Nylah Wilson was fourth in the 12-year-old girls high jump. Ashley Thomas won bronze in the 13-year-old girls 100-meter dash and was fifth in the 200-meter dash. Naiyae Evans won the 13-year-old girls triple jump and was fourth in the long jump. Benjamin Nevius was sixth in the 15-to-16-year-old boys 3,000-meter race. The club's 10-year-old boys 4x100-meter relay (Elijah Mathis, Khary Adams, Shane Brown and Xavier Myers) finished eighth. The 13-to-14-year-old girls 4x100-meter relay (Evans, Rashidat Oridedi, Madison Robinson and Ashley Thomas) was seventh. The 11-to-12-year-old girls 4x100-meter relay (Roberts, Adrianna Thomas, Hinton and Ella Cooper) placed second.

— Callie Caplan

Women's soccer

Spirit game to be featuredon Lifetime channel

The Washington Spirit will play host to the Boston Breakers this afternoon in the National Women's Soccer League Lifetime Game of the Week at the Maryland SoccerPlex. National TV coverage on Lifetime begins at 3:30 p.m. with kickoff set for 3:50. It will be the second of three meetings between the teams this season, and the first of two played on the Spirit's home field. Boston came away with a 1-0 win in a defensive battle at Jordan Field on July 1 in the first matchup on a 73rd-minute goal by Margaret Purce assisted by Rosie White.

Horse racing: Hillwood Stable's Shimmering Aspen, dominant while earning her first stakes victory eight weeks earlier, returns from her summer vacation as the horse to beat in today's $75,000 Twixt at Laurel Park. The 7-furlong Twixt for fillies and mares 3 and older is one of two stakes on the 11-race program along with the $75,000 Polynesian for 3-year-olds and up, also at seven furlongs. First race post time is 1:10 p.m. ... Lael Stables' Grade 3-winning homebred Divining Rod, who ran second in the Cigar Mile (G1) in late November, makes his long-awaited return to the races in Saturday's $75,000 Polynesian at Laurel Park. The 7-furlong Polynesian for 3-year-olds and up is one of two stakes on an 11-race program along with the $75,000 Twixt for fillies and mares, also at seven furlongs. First race post time is 1:10 p.m. ... Multiple Grade 3-winning sprinter Whitmore, having overcome a minor foot issue, returned to work over the weekend and is expected to make his next start in the $250,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) Sept. 16 at Laurel Park. Trainer Ron Moquett had planned to run Whitmore in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) on July 29 at Saratoga Race Course but he was forced to withdraw the 4-year-old Pleasantly Perfect colt from consideration the day entries were taken.

From Sun staff and news services

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