No. 2 seed Brigade open Arena Football League semifinal series at Philadelphia

No. 2 seed Brigade vs. No. 3 seed Philadelphia Soul

What: Game 1 of Arena Football League semifinals (home-and-home series)

When: Sunday, 6 p.m.

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

TV: CBS Sports Network

Outlook: Under the AFL’s revised playoff format, in which all four of the league’s teams qualify for the postseason, the higher-seeded Brigade chose to travel to Philadelphia this weekend and will host the two-time defending champion Soul on Friday at Royal Farms Arena. If the same team wins both semifinal games, that team would advance to ArenaBowl XXXI. If the teams split the series, the team with the best aggregate score would advance. If the aggregate score is tied, the teams would immediately play an overtime period to determine which advances.

The Brigade lost to Philadelphia in four of their five meetings last season, including in their single-elimination semifinal matchup, but the playing field has been leveled in 2018. The teams split their four regular-season games — the aggregate score favored the Brigade, 182-159 — and both finished the season 7-5. Naturally, the series will come down to quarterback play. Dan Raudabaugh, the league’s most accurate passer, has returned from injury to lead the Soul to two straight wins, while Randy Hippeard, the league’s second-most prolific passer, will be called on to stop the Brigade’s three-game slide.

jshaffer@baltsun.com

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