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Thunder Smacked by KISS, 44-34

Sunday April 6, 2014

 Team Rallies Twice, But Eleven Sacks Doom Thunder

ANAHEIM, CA - After a slow start, the Portland Thunder (0-3) put a scare into the Los Angeles KISS (2-1), but couldn’t overcome the slow start and a record-setting performance by the KISS defensive line.

The Thunder entered the second quarter trailing 14-0 and the KISS had the ball, but the defense pulled together a couple of stops, with Bryce Peila picking off a pass in the end zone and the team combining to force a turnover on downs.

Newly-acquired quarterback Danny Southwick also made his first appearance in the second quarter and led the Thunder on consecutive scoring drives as the Thunder narrowed the KISS lead to one point at 14-13. In the last minute of the half, though, Southwick threw a long interception after a missed L.A. field goal attempt and the KISS ended the half with a TD pass to Donovan Morgan to take an 8-point lead into the break.

The teams traded scores and it looked like the Thunder were on the verge of tying the game for the first time at 27-all when the KISS tallied four consecutive sacks on a series that started at the Los Angeles four-yard-line. The KISS scored on the ensuing drive and the Thunder couldn’t get the margin below three points the rest of the way.

Southwick performed well in the loss despite two half-ending interceptions, gaining 270 yards and four touchdowns on 21/29 passing. Jeffrey Solomon again led the Thunder in receiving, picking up 152 yards on 11 receptions and a touchdown.

The KISS’ Donovan Morgan, however, had a slightly better night. His 11 receptions went for 172 yards and four touchdowns.

All in all, however, both defensive lines ruled the game. The Thunder piled up six sacks of JJ Raterink, with rookie Donte Paige-Moss hauling down the signal caller three times. The KISS, however, got to Southwick and Darron Thomas eleven times, setting an AFL record. The teams also combined for a record 17 sacks in a single game.

The Thunder head to Spokane next weekend to take on the 2-1 Shock. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and via radio at 970 AM.

RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME – Donovan Morgan, LA KISS

RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME – Beau Bell, LA KISS

J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME – Duane Brooks, Portland Thunder

CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME – Donovan Morgan, corner of the end zone touchdown

AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME – Romeo Pellum interception return for a touchdown

About the Portland Thunder

The Portland Thunder are a professional arena football team of the Arena Football League from Portland, Oregon, USA. They play their home games at the Moda Center. 2014 marks the franchise’s first season. Tickets and Sponsorships are available for the 2014 season. For more information, email us at info@portlandthunder.com or call 503-773-4235.