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Predators Fall to Soul in Season Opener, 70-63

Sunday March 29, 2015

 QB Randy Hippeard Throws Eight Touchdowns in Preds Debut

ORLANDO – Mar. 29, 2015 – The Orlando Predators (0-1) dropped a 70-63 decision to the Philadelphia Soul (1-0) on Sunday evening in front of a crowd of 12,765 at the Amway Center.

Making his Predators debut, quarterback Randy Hippeard completed 20-of-25 pass attempts for 233 yards and eight touchdowns with one interception. Kendal Thompkins paced the wide receiver group with six grabs for 78 yards and two touchdowns while Justin Hilton hauled in five passes for 67 yards and two more scores. Larry Brackins added three touchdowns on three receptions for 41 yards while Greg Carr contributed four catches for 24 yards and another score.

The Predators held a 49-42 advantage entering the fourth quarter before Philadelphia cut the lead off a 19-yard touchdown pass from QB Dan Raudabaugh to WR Marco Thomas. A failed two-point conversion attempt kept Orlando ahead, 49-48.

On the ensuing Predators drive, Hippeard looked for WR Kendal Thompkins over the middle but had his attempt picked off by Soul DB James Romain, who returned the interception 30 yards for a touchdown to put Orlando in a 56-49 hole.

Hippeard quickly shook off the turnover and executed a three-play, 42-yard drive that resulted in an 11-yard touchdown pass to WR Greg Carr. On 1st-&-10, Hippeard scrambled out of the pocket and eluded the rush before lofting the short score to Carr to tie the game at 56-56.

Philadelphia managed to take the lead a series later as Raudabaugh connected with WR Ryan McDaniel from 24 yards out. The Soul attempted an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, but WR Larry Brackins recovered the loose ball to give the Predators a short field. Five plays later, Hippeard hit Brackins from a yard out to give Orlando a 63-62 lead with 36 seconds remaining on the clock.

Orlando looked to have the victory in hand on the resulting Soul possession, as Predators DB Paul Stephens came up with a crucial interception in the end zone that would have ended the game. However, a holding penalty negated the turnover and Raudabaugh found McDaniel for a six-yard touchdown on the next play for the winning score.

The Orlando Predators hit the road in Week 2 as the team travels to take on the Jacksonville Sharks (0-1) at 8:00 p.m. EST on Friday, April 3. For all the latest news and updates, visit orlandopredators.com and follow the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME

Philadelphia QB Dan Raudabaugh

RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME

Philadelphia DB James Romain

J.LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME

Philadelphia WR Ryan McDaniel

CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME

Game-winning touchdown reception by Philadelphia WR Ryan McDaniel

(0:36 in 4th Quarter)

AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME

Philadelphia DB James Romain’s 30-yard interception returned for a touchdown

(9:45 in 4th Quarter)

ABOUT THE ORLANDO PREDATORS

The 2014 South Division Champion Orlando Predators enters its 24th season as Central Florida’s most exciting and innovative professional sports franchise. Proud members of the Arena Football League, the Predators have achieved unprecedented success on the field. Orlando has advanced to the AFL playoffs a league-leading 22 times in their history while securing seven conference championships, including two ArenaBowl Championship victories in 1998 and 2000