Orlando wins third-straight with 61-48 victory over LA KISS
Saturday April 18, 2015
QB Randy Hippeard Throws for 339 Yards and Six Touchdowns in
ORLANDO – April 18, 2015 – The Orlando Predators (3-1) earned their third-straight victory on Saturday evening, defeating the LA KISS (0-4) by a final score of 61-48 in front of a crowd of 11,218 at the Amway Center.
Orlando’s offense was defined by its efficiency throughout the night, shaking off an early turnover to score on nine consecutive possessions. Quarterback Randy Hippeard completed 26-of-29 pass attempts (89.7%) while racking up 339 yards and six touchdowns, spreading the ball around to five different receivers.
Reigning AFL Rookie of the Year Greg Carr led all receivers as he posted nine receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns. WR Brandon Thompkins contributed 103 yards and two more scores on nine catches while adding 21 yards and another touchdown on three carries. QB Bernard Morris again saw action in goal line packages, posting 12 yards and two touchdowns on four carries.
The Predators defense also made its presence felt throughout the game, disrupting the LA offense on its way to forcing three turnovers on downs. DL Meshak Williams posted a five-yard solo sack while DL Calvin Fance and DL Mark Robinson combined on a second takedown of the quarterback.
LA struck first on the game’s opening series as QB Adrian McPherson connected with WR Donovan Morgan on a 34-yard touchdown pass. Orlando’s offense set out on its first drive moments later, but turned the ball over on its first play from scrimmage as WR Kendal Thompkins fumbled following a 24-yard reception.
The Predators defense swiftly responded to the fumble, needing just five plays to force a turnover on downs after halting McPherson on a fourth down pass attempt. One play later, QB Randy Hippeard launched a deep pass to Greg Carr, who outmuscled a defender on a leaping reception to secure the 39-yard touchdown.
Orlando’s defense returned to the field and once again put forth a stifling effort, denying the KISS on four straight pass attempts to force the turnover on downs and regain possession. On the next play from scrimmage, QB Bernard Morris punched it over the goal line on a one-yard touchdown run to build a 14-7 lead.
The two teams proceeded to trade scores beginning with a four-yard touchdown run by McPherson that tied the game at the end of the first quarter. The Preds quickly answered with a three-yard touchdown run by QB Bernard Morris, who took a shotgun snap and rushed left before plunging into the end zone for a 20-14 advantage.
The KISS went ahead as McPherson once again found the end zone, this time on a three-yard run. However, the lead was short lived as Hippeard dropped back and tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to WR Kendal Thompkins, who came up with the catch in traffic to secure a 27-21 lead.
McPherson connected with WR Jabin Sambrano on a quick 39-yard scoring completion on the first play of the ensuing LA drive, but WR Brandon Thompkins closed out the second quarter with a 19-yard touchdown grab to give the Predators a 34-28 lead at halftime.
Orlando received the kick to start the second half and marched downfield for another score to go up 40-28. The four-play, 48-yard drive was capped off with a 15-yard touchdown reception by Greg Carr, who caught a quick slant before cutting up field and diving over the goal line. The KISS reached the end zone on a two-yard run by McPherson a series later, but Hippeard would answer with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Thompkins to take a 47-35 lead.
The KISS chipped away at the score on the ensuing possession as McPherson hooked up with Sambrano on a nine-yard touchdown completion. However, the high-powered Predators offense once again drove downfield to maintain a two-score advantage. On the first play of the final quarter, Hippeard fired a 12-yard pass to WR Larry Brackins in the end zone to put the Predators ahead, 54-42.
LA earned its final score of the night early in the fourth quarter off an 11-yard pass from McPherson to Morgan. Facing 1st-&-Goal on the ensuing series, Hippeard rolled out and pitched the ball on a reverse to Brandon Thompkins, who scampered across the field for a two-yard score.
The Predators defense took the field for the final time and executed a dramatic goal-line stand, denying McPherson on four straight pass attempts to force its third turnover on downs and seal the 61-48 victory.
The Orlando Predators head west in Week 5 to take on the Spokane Shock on Saturday, April 25 at 10:00 p.m. EST. 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 Meshak Williams
J.LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME
Orlando WR Brandon Thompkins
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME
39-yard touchdown reception by Orlando WR Greg Carr (8:12 | Q1)
AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
30-yard touchdown reception by Orlando WR Kendal Thompkins (3:48 | Q2)
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.