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Predators Topple Tampa Bay 77-65 in War on I-4

Sunday April 20, 2014

ORLANDO, FL – For the second time this season the Orlando Predators (4-2) emerged victorious over the Tampa Bay Storm (3-3) in the “War on I-4.” The team earned a 77-65 victory over their interstate rivals while taking a firm lead atop the American Conference’s South Division.

Predators QB Jason Boltus scored 10 total touchdowns while directing an offense that lit up the scoreboard throughout the night. Boltus racked up 365 yards with nine touchdowns through the air while adding 21 yards and another score on the ground. WR Greg Carr continued the fast start to his rookie season, hauling in seven passes for 145 yards and four touchdowns. WR Kendal Thompkins added six catches for 132 yards and three scores, while WR Khalil Paden gained 86 yards with two touchdowns on seven catches.

Holding a 41-32 lead at the midway point, Orlando kicked off to Tampa Bay to open the third quarter. The Storm cut the lead with a touchdown pass from QB Randy Hippeard to FB Dexter Jackson, but Orlando would quickly answer in dramatic fashion. On the second play of the ensuing drive, Kendal Thompkins secured a reception before side-stepping multiple defenders and racing up the field for a 38-yard touchdown. Tampa Bay would score off a short pass on the following drive, but Thompkins again responded as he sprinted past a defender and came down with a 40-yard touchdown reception.

On the ensuing kickoff, Orlando would recover an onside attempt after a successful boot by K Mark Lewis. Two plays later, Boltus tucked the football on a designed run and rumbled up the left sideline for an 11-yard score to give the Predators a 61-46 advantage heading into the final quarter of play.

Tampa Bay regained possession at the start of the fourth frame, only to be denied by an energized Predators defense. Facing third-and-10, Hippeard lofted a pass to the end zone but had the attempt intercepted by newly-acquired DB Tracy Belton, who made a spectacular one-handed catch to come down with the football. Two snaps into the ensuing series, Boltus fired a deep 41-yard score to Greg Carr to give Orlando a 68-46 lead.

The Storm finally found the end zone after three unanswered scores, as WR T.T. Toliver caught a 14-yard touchdown from Hippeard. Needing points in a hurry, Tampa Bay would attempt an onside kick following the score. However, Tracy Belton denied the Storm once again, as he fielded the kick and bolted to the end zone for a touchdown to give the Predators a late 75-53 advantage.

Tampa Bay scored two late touchdowns to cut the lead, but WR Greg Carr would intercept a pass attempt by Hippeard during the Storm’s final two-point conversion try. Carr snatched the pass out of the air and sprinted the length of the field before high-stepping into the end zone to seal the 77-65 victory.

The Orlando Predators return to CFE Arena in Week 7 to take on the New Orleans VooDoo on Saturday, April 26th. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. Tickets are available for purchase by calling 407-648-4444!

QB Jason Boltus (Orlando)

DB Tracy Belton (Orlando)

WR Greg Carr (Orlando)

WR Greg Carr’s (Orlando) second touchdown of the game with 3:14 remaining in the 2nd quarter.

DB Tracy Belton’s (Orlando) one-handed interception in the end zone (13:05 in the 4th quarter).

The Orlando Predators are heading into their 23rd season as Orlando’s most exciting and innovative professional sports franchise. Proud members of the Arena Football League, the Predators have achieved unprecedented success on the field, reaching the AFL postseason a league-leading 19 times in their history. The Orlando Predators have advanced to the AFL playoffs a league-leading 19 times in their history while securing seven conference championships, including two ArenaBowl Championship victories in 1998 and 2000.