Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
The top-seeded Albany Empire drew the, um how do we describe it, lowly 2-10 Washington Valor for the first round of the Arena Football League playoffs. The old adage says, don’t count anyone out, the Valor did just that and gave Albany all it could handle before falling just short in a 57-56 overtime victory at Capital One Arena Saturday night.
It was natural for Empire fans to expect a large point advantage heading into next Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. game against Washington at Times Union Center, but Albany is just one point up in the home-and-home semifinal series to be decided by aggregate score.
That margin came thanks to a two-point conversion pass from Tommy Grady to Greg Carr after Joe Hills had caught a 7-yard touchdown pass with 2:21 left in overtime.
“Let’s not worry about points, let’s just win a football game,” Albany head coach Rob Keefe said on the CBS Sports Network broadcast after the game. “I’ll take this, and that’s a good message. You can’t sleep on anybody.”
The Valor have one more chance to stay alive in the playoffs, one more loss and they will call it another season and wonder what might have gone wrong this year and what changes they need to make next season to have some success in the league.
Washington will need to defeat Albany by two points next weekend to have a chance to play in the Arena Bowl.