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LA KISS defeat Portland Thunder in front of home crowd , 69-61

Sunday June 15, 2014

 LOS ANGELES (June 14, 2014) – With nearly 11,000 fans in attendance, the LA KISS (3-9) defeated the Portland Thunder (3-10) Saturday evening, 69-61.

Within seconds of the opening kick, LA KISS quarterback Aaron Garcia threw to receiver Raymond Radway for 34 yards, putting the home team nearly 10 yards shy of a touchdown. Three plays later, Donovan Morgan pulled down a 5-yard pass with one hand to take an early lead against the Thunder. On the next series, a fumble by Thunder quarterback Kyle Rowley was recovered by KISS defensive back Matt Estrada for a touchdown, increasing the KISS lead to 14-0 with a little over 10 minutes left in play.

The Thunder responded as Rowley hit receiver Alvance Robinson for a 34-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 14-7. A 2-yard rush by KISS backup QB Kenny Guiton (4:08) and another quick pass from Rowley to Robinson (1:18) brought the score to 21-13 at the end of the first quarter (kick failed).

Coming out strong in the second quarter, Los Angeles managed back-to-back touchdowns on another Garcia-to-Morgan connection and a fumble recovery by linebacker Beau Bell on the ensuing kickoff. The Thunder responded with three scores of their own, including a 7-yard pass from Rowley to wide receiver Braylon Bell (9:13) and a 3-yard interception return and touchdown by defensive back Bryce Peila (7:40), and a late, 3-yard run by backup quarterback Darron Thomas, which brought the score to 35-33 (:06). However, the KISS fired back just before the end of the half with a 36-yard pass from Garcia to receiver Samora Goodson. Los Angeles lead 42-33 at half.

The second half of tonight’s battle started slowly, until Portland’s Rowley found receiver Eric Rogers on an 8-yard scoring connection, closing the gap on Los Angeles’s lead. Nevertheless, a touchdown combo from Garcia to Morgan followed by kicker Kenny Spencer’s sixth completed field goal reestablished the lead with less than six minutes to play in the 3rd (5:44).

Los Angeles was able to seal the deal in the 4th quarter with an early Garcia-to-Goodson connection (20 yards at 13:06) and two Estrada rushing touchdowns (1 yard and 6 yards, respectively). LA KISS went out with a bang when defensive back A.J. Cruz collided with Thunder receiver Jeffrey Solomon. Rowley managed another late score with 11 seconds left on a quick pass to Rogers (8 yards). A completed 2-point conversion ended things at 69-61, in favor of Los Angeles.

Next week Los Angeles is on the road and will look to take on the undefeated Arizona Rattlers on June 21 in Week 15 of the 2014 Arena Football League season. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (PDT). Single game tickets are still available at ticketmaster.com or the Honda Center box office.

For more information about LA KISS visit lakissfootball.com or call 714-462-KISS.