Morris and KEEFENSE Surge Power
ORLANDO, FL - Two teams on impressive winning streaks came into Sunday’s Arena Football League Quarterfinal game with a lot to prove.
The Orlando Predators came in with a three game streak and having won the Southern Division in the process. They have had a season of turmoil and have all along said that they have felt disrespected. Another win could put the organization in a good place headed into next season with new ownership prepared to take over.
The Pittsburgh Power came in on a twelve game winning streak, the longest streak to end a season in league history and were playing in the first playoff game in franchise history. They needed to prove themselves as a solid contender. The game at CFE Arena in Orlando was the first time a team with a winning percentage over .800, Pittsburgh, was playing their first playoff game on the road.
Pittsburgh started in control after having to wait approximately an additional ten minutes on the field prior to kickoff while pre-game festivities dragged on at CFE.
The Power scored a touchdown on their first drive
as QB Tommy Grady found former Predator wide receiver Prechae Rodriguez.
Then Predator QB Bernard Morris went to work.
The former Power QB would find potential AFL Rookie of the Year wide receiver Greg Carr (6’6”, 230 lb) in the endzone on a play where Morris avoided a would be sack and kept going to complete the first score for Orlando.
The Orlando defense, or KEEFENSE, as it was noted on the jumbotron in the arena in respect of head coach Rob Keefe, would put pressure on Grady all afternoon. The Power would be stopped on fourth downs two times and Grady would also be intercepted by Predator DB Eddie Moten at a critical point in the third quarter with the Power already down a score.
Morris and the Predators, known for playing the game with high emotion and a tendency for penalties, played under control and showed that they could put it all together at the right time.
He would throw for four touchdowns, all to Carr, and 221 yards. More important was his production on the ground and his ability to move in and around the pocket. Morris would also run the ball ten times for 44 yards and another four touchdowns.
Carr caught ten passes for 97 yards and the four touchdowns.
Up by eight points with just more than a minute to go, the Predators would recover an onside kick and prevent the Power from getting the ball back to end the game.
The Predators will now move on to play the top seeded team in the Arena Football League, the Cleveland Gladiators in Cleveland next Sunday. The time and television network coverage have yet to be determined as the arena in Cleveland is not available on Saturday as the AFL schedule had planned.
Jeff has been writing for ArenaFan.com since 2004. Originally from New York, Jeff has been living in the Chicago area for the past ten years and is an avid football fanatic. He holds a BA in communications from Hofstra University in New York and a sports management certificate from Loyola University in Chicago.