Predators Defeat New Orleans VooDoo, 47-42
Saturday April 11, 2015
Orlando Earns Second Victory of the Season
NEW ORLEANS – April 11, 2015 – The Orlando Predators (2-1) earned its second victory of the season night, taking to the road to defeat the New Orleans VooDoo (1-2) at the Smoothie King Center by a final score of 47-42. WR Brandon Thompkins provided a spark on special teams, returning two kicks for scores of over 50 yards.
QB Randy Hippeard completed 19-of-28 pass attempts for 236 yards and four touchdowns on the night, connecting with WR Kendal Thompkins on eight passes for 64 yards and two scores. WR Greg Carr added four receptions for 62 yards and another touchdown while FB Michael Simons generated 67 total yards as he caught two passes for 45 yards and carried three times for 22 yards.
New Orleans got on the board during the game’s opening possession following a 17-yard touchdown pass from QB Adam Kennedy to WR Chris Duvalt. Orlando matched the score on its first series as QB Randy Hippeard dropped back and lofted a 19-yard scoring completion to WR Kendal Thompkins in the left corner of the end zone. The Predators defense tightened on the ensuing series, forcing three straight incompletion in the red zone to hold the VooDoo to a 28-yard field goal. Moment later, WR Greg Carr made a leaping nine-yard touchdown reception to give the Predators a 13-10 lead minutes into the second quarter.
The VooDoo matched the touchdown off a 12-yard pass from Kennedy to Duvalt for a 16-13 advantage, however the lead was short lived as WR Brandon Thompkins put his electric return skills on display. Moments after the score, Thompkins received the ensuing kickoff and raced through the middle of the field, side-stepping would-be tacklers on his way to a 51-yard touchdown. New Orleans regained possession, but a stifling Predators defense forced another field goal try, this time from midfield. As K Garrett Lindholm’s kick bounced off the right nets, Thompkins secured the miss attempt and darted up field. The fleet-footed wide receiver eluded multiple defenders before cutting up the right sideline and racing to the end zone for a 52-yard touchdown to give the Predators a 27-16 lead.
New Orleans found the end zone late in the second quarter off a seven-yard pass from Kennedy to Duvalt, but the Preds closed out the half with a successful 17-yard field goal attempt by K Mark Lewis, leading to a 30-22 lead at the midway point.
The Predators regained possession at the start of the third quarter and converted the drive into points as Mark Lewis booted a 19-yard field goal for a 33-22 advantage. New Orleans would respond on its first series of the second half, scoring on a 13-yard pass from Kennedy to Franklin.
Orlando answered the score on the first play of the final quarter as Hippeard fired a nine-yard touchdown strike to a wide-open Kendal Thompkins for a 40-29 lead. Two plays later, the VooDoo found the end zone off a 35-yard completion from Kennedy to Franklin.
The Predators turned the ball over on downs on its next offensive series, but Orlando’s defense swiftly answered the call to regain possession. On the first play of the ensuing series, rookie nose guard Austin Brown broke through the interior of the offensive line and sacked Kennedy for a nine-yard loss, forcing him to fumble in the process. LB Aaron Robbins recovered the loose ball for Orlando and the Predators need just two plays to score as Hippeard lofted a four-yard touchdown pass to rookie WR LaMark Brown in the right corner of the end zone.
New Orleans scored on a seven-yard pass from Kennedy to Franklin with 46 seconds remaining in the game, but Hippeard was able to convert a crucial fourth-down attempt during the game’s final drive to secure the victory for Orlando, 47-42.
The Orlando Predators return home to the Amway Center in Week 4 to battle the LA KISS on Saturday, April 18 at 7:00p.m. EST. Tickets are available for purchase by calling 407-355-2200 or online at orlandopredators.com. 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
Orlando QB Randy Hippeard
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Orlando DL Austin Brown
J.LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME
Orlando WR Brandon Thompkins
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME
31-yard catch by Orlando WR Brandon Thompkins on fourth down during the game’s final drive
AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
52-yard missed field goal return by WR Brandon Thompkins
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.