On a summer night in Downtown Baltimore, Royal Farms Arena was the site of the Arena Bowl XXXI. The Washington Valor and the Baltimore Brigade squared off not only as neighboring rivals but as the finalists for the right to earn the title as “Arena Bowl Champions” and hoisting the Foster Trophy.
Baltimore came in the heavily favored team to win the Arena Bowl title after sporting a 7-5 record (tied for second out of four) as opposed to the Valor putting up a 2-10 record (fourth out of four). The Washington Valor captured their first Arena Bowl Championship in a stunning 69-55 upset win over the Baltimore Brigade behind a strong performance by quarterback Arvell Nelson. Nelson was responsible for eight total touchdowns: five on the ground and three by the air.
A promising season that turned into a major letdown for the Brigade turned into a Cinderella season for the Valor. In the inaugural season for both the Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade, their rivalry will continue well into the offseason and re-ignite a fire in both cities separated by only 32 miles.