Orlando Drops 56-55 Overtime Decision to Spokane Shock
Sunday April 26, 2015
Road Loss Ends Predators Three-Game Winning Streak
SPOKANE, WA – April 25, 2015 – The Orlando Predators (3-2) dropped a 56-55 decision on the road in overtime to the Spokane Shock (1-3) on Saturday evening, snapping a three-game winning streak for the Predators. Orlando was unable to capitalize on fourth quarter opportunities due to turnovers and miscues.
After ending regulation with game tied 49-49, Orlando received the ball to start the overtime period. QB Randy Hippeard completed a pass attempt to WR Brandon Thompkins for a gain of 21 before hooking up with WR Larry Brackins for a completion of 20 yards to march the Predators inside the red zone. Orlando was backed up 10 yards due to a holding penalty, then took an eight-yard sack that knocked Hippeard out of the game. Facing 3rd-&-Goal from their own 22-yard line, QB Bernard Morris subbed into the game and launched a 28-yard touchdown pass to WR Kendal Thompkins to take the lead for the first time in the game. Orlando opted to go for two on the point-after attempt, but Morris was stopped shy of the goal line on a quarterback sneak.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Predators looked to seal the game with an onside attempt, but Spokane would recover just nine yards shy of the end zone. Three plays into the ensuing drive, Shock QB Carson Coffman lofted a nine-yard touchdown pass to WR Mike Washington. Spokane would convert the PAT kick moments later to seal the loss, 56-55.
Hippeard finished the night completing 31-of-37 pass attempts for 397 yards with six touchdowns and one interception. Morris saw limited action and threw for 39 yards and one score on 2-of-3 passing while adding four yards and another touchdown on the ground. WR Kendal Thompkins lead the receiving corps with 10 receptions for 194 yards and two scores, while WR Brandon Thompkins caught eight passes for 76 yards and another touchdown. Hippeard consistently spread the ball around throughout the night, finding WR Greg Carr, WR LaMark Brown, FB Michael Simons, and TE Ray Dominguez for one touchdown apiece.
Spokane jumped out to an early 14-0 lead beginning with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Coffman to WR Rashaad Carter. Orlando fumbled on toss to FB Michael Simons during its opening possession and the Shock capitalized on the turnover, scoring on a two-yard run by FB/LB Bryson Kelly.
Orlando responded on its next series with a four-yard touchdown grab by Greg Carr, who made a leaping reception over the top of a defender to secure the score. The Predators defense then held the Shock to four-and-out to regain possession, but Hippeard was hit from behind and fumbled on the second play of the resulting drive. DL James Ruffin recovered for Spokane, who converted the turnover into a touchdown off a 30-yard pass from Coffman to WR Mike Washington to put Orlando at a 21-7 deficit early in the second quarter.
The Predators quickly answered the score on the ensuing drive as Hippeard complete a pass over the middle to Kendal Thompkins, who secured the reception before racing up the left sideline for a 40-yard touchdown. Spokane made it a two-score game off a 10-yard touchdown reception by WR Anthony Amos, but Orlando responded a play later as Ray Dominguez caught a 10-yard touchdown pass over the middle.
Orlando attempted an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, but Spokane recovered and found the end zone a play later on a six-yard screen pass from Coffman to Washington. Following two straight completions by Hippeard, Preds FB Michael Simons caught a pass over the middle and went rumbling through the defense for a 12-yard touchdown to cut Spokane’s lead at the one-minute warning, 35-28.
On the following kickoff, Mark Lewis dribbled the kick into the middle of Spokane’s receiving team and Orlando dove on the loose ball for the successful recovery. Three plays later, Hippeard lofted a 16-yard pass to WR LaMark Brown, who stretched the ball over the goal line for a touchdown to tie the game at the half, 35-35.
Orlando received the kickoff to start the third quarter, but Hippeard fumbled on the first play from scrimmage and Spokane returned the loose ball for a short touchdown. The Predators promptly tied the game moments later as Hippeard drove the team down to the opponent’s goal line before QB Bernard Morris subbed into the game. Facing 2nd-&-Goal, Morris took a direct snap out of the shotgun formation and rushed left for a three-yard touchdown.
Spokane retook the lead off a 10-yard pass from Coffman to Washington, but the Predators answered with a nine-yard touchdown reception by Brandon Thompkins. The Shock drove down to the goal line on the ensuing series, but Orlando’s defense held as the Predators recovered a fumble at the two-yard line to regain possession with the game tied, 49-49.
The two teams proceeded to trade interceptions in the fourth quarter, as a pass attempt by Hippeard was bobbled by his receiver and landed in the arms of Shock DB Andre Jones. Moments later, Spokane QB Carson Coffman took a snap and pitched back to his wide receiver, who attempted to throw the ball but was picked off by Preds DB Paul Stephens.
Orlando appeared poised to score on the ensuing drive before a fumble by LB Terence Moore was recovered by Spokane and halted the series in the red zone. Orlando’s defense managed to hold on the following Shock series, as Spokane ended an eight-play, 36-yard drive with a missed field goal.
The Predators regained possession with only 41 seconds remaining in regulations and once again looked for the go-ahead score before a fumble prematurely ended the drive. Facing 3rd-&-1 from the opponent’s eight-yard line, FB Michael Simons carried for a gain of seven before losing possession of the ball. DB Sergio Gilliam recovered for Spokane with seven seconds on the clock, forcing the game into overtime where Orlando would eventually fall.
The Orlando Predators return to the Amway Center in Week 6 to battle the Cleveland Gladiators on Saturday, May 2 at 7:00 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
Spokane DL James Ruffin
J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME
Orlando WR Kendal Thompkins
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME
One-handed catch on third-down by Orlando WR Greg Carr (Q3)
AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
Fumble recovered for a touchdown by Spokane DL Terrance Taylor (Q3 | 14:25)
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.