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WEEK 10 GAME PREVIEW - BLACKJACKS AT VALOR

Wed, Jun 26, 2019


The Atlantic City Blackjacks (3-6) are coming off their third straight loss following their Week 9 game. The team heads down to take on the Washington Valor (5-4) for the second time this season in Week 10. There is no simple way to put it, the Blackjacks need to win their last three games to put them in a position to get into the playoffs. The team heads back home for their final two games, but they need to take care of business down in the nation’s capital first. 

“This is a game we need to win,” said Ron James, Head Coach of the Atlantic City Blackjacks. “Washington is a tough team to play, especially on the road. Every game at this point of the season gets magnified and we must find a way to play at our best to win.”

The last time these teams played was in Week 3 where the Blackjacks only scored seven points in the first half of that game. In the end Arvell Nelson finished with 178 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a 41-34 victory for the Valor. The Blackjacks defense will need to snap out of their funk and make a defensive stop or create turnovers this game.

LaRoche Jackson is looking to make a return this week and had 9.5 tackles in Week 3, Kiante Northington had 4.5 tackles and two pass breakups and Arthur Hobbs had six tackles and a pass breakup as well. The defensive backs will have to deal with speedy Dezmon Epps who leads the Valor in receiving yards and kick return yards. The Blackjacks kept him in check during Week 3 only allowing him to get three receptions and 29 yards. The Valor’s leading receiver only had 85 receiving yards and one touchdown. The defense played a game where if the offense was a little better, they could have won.

Fast forward to Week 9 and the offense exploded against Albany as Warren Smith made his first start as a member of the Blackjacks. Smith threw for 329 yards, seven passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. All season-highs for a Blackjacks quarterback this year. It’s clear Randy Hippeard and LaMark Brown share a lot of chemistry from previous seasons. It might be too early to tell but Smith and rookie Antwane Grant had themselves a game and look to be building something great. Smith found Grant for 11 completions, 177 receiving yards and four touchdowns. It was great to Grant finally go off after seeing his potential all season long. Whether it’s Hippeard or Smith getting the start, the offense should put up better numbers the second time around.

The last important matchup to watch for will be the special teams play of the Blackjacks. Against Albany, the Blackjacks attempted the most onside kicks they have this season. They were able to recover one and capitalize with a touchdown a few plays later. It was important to steal as many possessions as possible against the Empire but now facing the Valor, there might not be as many onside kicks attempted this week. Whatever the case, every chance to get an extra possession is key to a team success in the Arena Football League and it appears as if Coach James is not afraid to go for onside kicks.

If they don’t elect for the onside kick, they must be mindful of Epps and his speed when he’s returning kicks. On the year he has 26 returns for 394 yards, an average of 15.2 yards, but no touchdowns. Limiting the starting field position for Nelson will be important to give the defense the best chance it has to make a defensive stop this game. Blackjacks main return man Kendrick Ings left the game against Albany with an injury and did not return to the game. Keiron Jones stepped in and did an adequate job filling in for Ings getting four returns for 57 yards. In the end it’s going to take a collective effort not only in this game but for the remaining three games in the season for the Blackjacks to get the wins they need for a playoff berth.

Fans can secure their season tickets for the Atlantic City Blackjacks now with a $50 deposit per seat ($75 for VIP seats) by calling 609-783-9494 or by going to ACBlackjacks.com.  A team representative will contact those that have submitted a deposit within a week to select your specific seats, which will be done in order in which deposits were received.

Atlantic City Blackjacks 2019 Season Presented by Tropicana Atlantic City.

About Atlantic City Blackjacks

The Arena Football League’s newest franchise, the Atlantic City Blackjacks will begin play in Spring 2019 at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall.  Season memberships for the inaugural 2019 season are on sale now.  For tickets, contact the Atlantic City Blackjacks sales department at (609) 783-9494 or by going to ACBlackjacks.com.  Follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @AFLBlackjacks

About the Arena Football League

The Arena Football League enters its 32nd season in 2019. Since its inception in 1987, the AFL showcases a fast-paced, exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets. With the addition of two new teams in Atlantic City, N.J., and Columbus, O.H., the League totals six teams for 2019: Albany, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Columbus, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Each team will play 12 regular-season games in 2019. One can find the League on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the handle @OfficialAFL.

About Spectra

Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Convention Center are owned and funded by the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA).  Spectra provides both Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Convention Center.  Spectra is an industry leader in hosting and entertainment, partnering with clients to create memorable experiences for millions of visitors every year. Spectra’s unmatched blend of integrated services delivers incremental value for clients through several primary areas of expertise: Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality, and Partnerships. Learn more at SpectraExperiences.com.

About Tropicana Atlantic City

Tropicana Atlantic City  is a 24-hour gaming destination located on the beach and Boardwalk. Featuring just under 2,400 hotel rooms and home of The Quarter, a 200,000-square-foot entertainment complex, Tropicana Atlantic City is the premier resort in Atlantic City. With over 25 restaurants, 25 shops, 20 bars and lounges, 4 pools, the Tropicana Showroom, an IMAX Theatre and a spa, Tropicana Atlantic City was highlighted as one of the “Coolest Casinos in the World” by PopSugar. Casino Player Magazine has voted the TROP ADVANTAGE® Club as the “Best Players Club” four years in a row. In 2018, Tropicana Atlantic City’s Cabana Five Bar & Pool Deck was named the “No. 2 Best Hotel Pool” in the Nation by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. Since 2013, Tropicana completed over $200 million in renovations, including its spectacular Multimedia Light and Sound Show, the addition of AtlantiCare LifeCenter Fitness, Garces restaurants, renovations to over 900 hotel rooms, casino and more.

Must be 21. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. For more information, visit www.tropicana.net  or:

About Eldorado Resorts, Inc.

Eldorado Resorts  is a leading casino entertainment company that owns and operates twenty-eight properties in thirteen states, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. In aggregate, Eldorado’s properties feature approximately 27,500 slot machines and VLTs and 800 table games, and over 12,500 hotel rooms.

Founded in 1973 in Reno, Eldorado has been dedicated to providing exceptional guest service, a dynamic gaming product, award-winning dining, exciting entertainment and premiere accommodations. Our extensive management experience and unwavering commitment to our team members, guests and shareholders have been the primary drivers of our strategic goals and success. We take pride in our reinvestment in our properties and the communities we support along with emphasizing our family-style approach in an effort to build loyalty among our team members and guests. We will continue to focus on the future growth and diversification of our company while maintaining our core values and striving for operational excellence. For more information, please visit www.eldoradoresorts.com .