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AFL playoffs begin this weekend

July 12, 2018 01:10 pm

ALBANY — The No. 4 seeded Washington Valor (2-10) hosts the No. 1 seeded Albany Empire (8-4) in the teams’ first game of their home-and-home series on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Capital One Arena on CBS Sports Network and Alt 105.7 fm.


EMPIRE: Quarterback Tommy Grady completed 21-of-29 passes for 239 yards and eight touchdowns last week, earning him Offensive Player of the Week honors. Grady has gone 72-of-100 passes for 971 yards, 25 touchdowns and one interception against the Valor this season. He continues to find his two favorite receivers in the end zone. Wide receiver Malachi Jones hauled in six catches for 86 yards and three touchdowns. The rookie has 24 receptions for 353 yards and nine touchdowns versus the Valor. Receiver Joe Hills caught 10 receptions for 106 yards and four touchdowns in Week 13. Hills has 27 receptions for 348 yards and 10 touchdowns in four games against Washington. Fullback Mykel Benson had 10 rushing attempts for 39 yards and two touchdowns in his third game with the Empire. In his three games with Albany, Benson has 23 rush attempts for 85 yards and four touchdowns. Defensive back Marrio Norman tallied 6.0 total tackles and one pass breakup last week. Norman and linebacker Terence Moore lead the Empire defense with a combined 137 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for-a-loss, 1.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, 18 pass breakups, 27 passes defended, and nine interceptions.

VALOR: Quarterback Arvell Nelson completed 25-of-34 passes for 247 yards and five touchdowns last week. In just one game against Albany, Nelson went for 27-of-42 passes for 303 yards, 5 touchdowns, one interception, along with 43 rushing yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Reggie Gray continues to be the Valor’s leading receiver. Last week, Gray hauled in three catches for 17 yards and one touchdowns. Receiver Josh Reese is another receiving target. Reese caught seven passes for 58 yards. Receiver TT Toliver brought in three receptions for 19 yards and one touchdown. The trio of receivers have combined for 55 catches for 494 yards and 10 touchdowns against the Empire in the regular season. Defensive back Michael Everett recorded 10.5 total tackles and one pass breakup in Week 13. Defensive back Tracy Belton leads the Valor defense with 31 total tackles, one tackle for-a-loss, six pass breakups, six passes defended, and one forced fumble in 2018.