Predators set sights on loftier goal
Friday July 24, 2015
ORLANDO – July 23, 2015 – The Orlando Predators already know they’re headed to the playoffs. Now, they have their sights set on loftier goals.
While the Predators are enjoying a well-deserved bye week, Jacksonville is trying to put itself into the playoff picture. Should the Sharks defeat Tampa Bay Saturday, the Aug. 1 Amway Center matchup between Jacksonville and Orlando would likely serve as an American Conference South Division championship game.
Not only do the Predators want to win a second-straight South Division title, they would love to have the opportunity to bring even more Arena Football action to Amway Center this season. A first-round home playoff game comes with the division championship.
“There’s still a lot to play for,” Orlando head coach Rob Keefe said. “Whatever it takes to win this game on August 1, we’re going to be ready. We want to reward (Orlando fans) with home playoff games.
“(Amway Center) is a great atmosphere,” Keefe added. “We have a great routine at home and great fans. We feed off the energy.”
Keefe knows Predators fans will bring the electricity when Jacksonville visits for Blackout Night, sponsored by Victory Casino Cruises on Aug. 1.
“It’s going to be unbelievable with the blackout and the thunder sticks,” Keefe said. “To pack all the people in there is going to be great and it should be one heck of a game.”
The Orlando-Jacksonville matchup will be the rubber match of the 2015 series. The Predators won 55-54 way back in week two, when Austin Brown blocked a potential game-tying extra point with 1:23 remaining in the game. Orlando set an AFL record with seven rushing touchdowns in the victory in Jacksonville. Meanwhile, the Sharks were victorious on June 6 in Jacksonville during a stretch of seven games without starting quarterback Randy Hippeard. The upcoming game will be the first in Orlando this season.
With next week’s game looming large, Keefe has allowed his team to get some needed down time this week.
“During the bye week, the important thing is for our guys to rest – mentally and physically,” Keefe said.
While the team is getting rejuvenated, the Predators’ staff is putting all its effort into preparation for August 1 at 7 p.m.
“To be successful at anything you have to love what you do,” Keefe said. “You get to the office early and you don’t want to leave. We have a great staff and they put in the work.”
To be a part of the action on August 1 when the Predators host the Sharks, call 407-355-2200 or visit OrlandoPredators.com. For all the latest news and updates, visit OrlandoPredators.com and follow the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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.