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In semifinal vs. Philadelphia, No. 2 seed Brigade just a win (or maybe a loss) away from ArenaBowl

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

What: Game 2 of Arena Football League semifinals (home-and-home series)

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When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Royal Farms Arena

TV: CBS Sports Network

Outlook: After a 57-45 win Sunday over the two-time defending champion Soul in Philadelphia, the Brigade are on the cusp of ArenaBowl XXXI, the four-team Arena Football League’s championship game. With a semifinal win Friday at Royal Farms Arena, the Brigade would advance to face either the top-seeded Albany Empire or fourth-seeded Washington Valor. Under the AFL’s aggregate-scoring rules, the Brigade also could lose by as many as 11 points and still move on. (Their biggest margin of defeat this season: eight points.) A 12-point loss would send the game to an overtime period to determine the winner; any defeat greater than that would be enough for the Soul to end the Brigade’s season in the semifinal round for the second straight year.

Another white-hot start would send the Brigade on their way to next weekend’s final. They held Philadelphia scoreless until the first half’s final seconds Sunday and led the Soul by as many as 30 points. Quarterback Randy Hippeard was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after finishing 17-for-23 for 212 yards and six touchdowns, handily outdueling Philadelphia’s Dan Raudabaugh (24-for-47, 332 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions).

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