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VooDoo Lose Hard Fought Affair to Predators

Saturday April 11, 2015

NEW ORLEANS –The Orlando Predators (2-1) used two big special teams plays in the first half to control the game and defeat the New Orleans VooDoo (1-2) in a hard hitting affair 47-42 Saturday night at the Smoothie King Center.

Orlando wide receiver Brandon Thompkins caught a 31-yard pass from Predators quarterback Randy Hippeard on 4th and 6 late with just under thirty seconds to play to seal the victory for the Predators. A thorn in the VooDoo’s side all night, Thompkins did most of his damage in the return game. Thompkins returned a kickoff 51 yards for a touchdown, and returned a missed field goal 52 yards for a score on the very next VooDoo possession. The quick 14 point burst gave the Predators a 27-16 with 5:10 left in the first half.

Thompkins also had four receptions for 60 yards for a combined total of 243 all-purpose yards.

Predator quarterback Randy Hippeard was sharp, completing 19-of-28 for 236 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed twice for 12 yards. Kendal Thompkins also caught eight passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns.

Trailing 40-36 in the fourth quarter, the VooDoo defense forced a critical fourth down stop with 9:11 to go in the game, but Orlando defensive lineman Orlando Brown sacked and forced a fumble from Adam Kennedy for the game’s only turnover. Hippeard connected with LaMark Brown for a four yard score on the next play, extending the lead for good.

Kennedy finished his night 23-of-39 for 251 yards and six touchdowns. Receiver Carlese Franklin grabbed nine catches for a team-high of 118 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Duvault also collected nine receptions, for 94 and three touchdowns as well.

“I’m proud of the way we played tonight,” said Coach Dean Cokinos. “We gave ourselves a chance to win, but obviously we didn’t capitalize. We will get better, and we will fix this.”

New Orleans travels to Tampa Bay next week to take on the Storm for the team’s first road game. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CST at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay. Fans can watch a live stream on ESPN3.com or on the WatchESPN App. Radio broadcast is available on 1280 AM or on the iHeart Radio App.

MEDIA AWARDS

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game - QB Randy Hippeard (ORL) 19-28, 236 yards 4 TD.

Riddell Defensive Player of the Game - DL Austin Brown (ORL) 2 tackles, 2 sacks.

J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game - WR Brandon Thompkins (ORL) 183 return yards, 2 TD.

Cutters Catch of the Game -Thompkins 31-yard 4th down catch to seal the win.

AFL Highlight of the Game -Thompkins 52-yard missed FG return.

ABOUT THE NEW ORLEANS VOODOO

Playing their fifth season since returning in 2011, the New Orleans VooDoo play all their home games at the Smoothie King Center (formerly New Orleans Arena). Season and single game tickets can be purchased by contacting the sales department at 888-277-5526 ext. 109 or ext. 133 or by visiting ticketmaster.com. Like us on Facebook at “New Orleans VooDoo” and follow us on Twitter @AFLVooDoo.

ABOUT THE AFL

Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network will nationally broadcast AFL games each week for the entire 2015 season. The AFL schedule culminates with ArenaBowl XXVIII Saturday, August 29, 2015 on ESPN.