Predators improve winning streak to three with win over LA KISS


Danny Morales / Valencia Voice

Brandon Thompkins has two touchdowns as the Predators improved to 3-1 with a win over the LA KISS.

Randy Hippeard threw only three incomplete passes to help the Orlando Predators defeat the LA KISS 61-48 to earn their first win at home on Saturday at the Amway Center.

The win is the team’s third in a row and brings them to a 3-1 record which puts them at the top of the South Division ahead of Tampa Bay and Jacksonville.

“There are still a lot of things to work on but I’m proud to get a home win,” said head coach Rob Keefe about their first win at the Amway this season. “You can’t take anything away from your first win at home, I’m very proud that the fans were able to experience a home win with us.”

The KISS opened up the game with a 34-yard touchdown pass from McPherson to Morgan Donovan. Orlando would answer with Greg Carr receiving a 39-yard pass from Hippeard to tie it up 7-7.

After forcing an LA punt, Bernard Morris ran it in for a touchdown to give Orlando their first lead. The two teams would then trade touchdown for touchdown to go into the locker room with the Predators leading 34-28.

The Predators came out at the second half and scored on their first possession to widen their lead to 40-28, a 12 point lead that they would hold onto until LA missed a PAT increasing Orlando’s lead to 13 by the end of the game.

A two-yard run from Brandon Thompkins with 8:06 left in the fourth quarter increased their lead to 61-48 where it remained until the buzzer.

Hippeard went the first half only missing one pass going 11 of 12, then finished the game completing 26 of 29 passes for 339 yards and six touchdowns.

“Thats the player of the week, he’s leading the league in passing efficiency, and if you don’t turn the ball over, you’re going to win games,” said Keefe on his starting quarterback. “We have a leader, he is an unbelievable quarterback who is only going to get better.”

The receiving corp made a comeback this week as Greg Carr, Brandon Thompkins and Kendal Thompkins all received for at least 83 yards each and caught a combined 5 touchdown passes.

Carr was in full form against LA as he caught 9 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns. After suffering from a pain in his foot the last couple weeks, Carr was unable to perform to the high caliber that he had last season.

“Any time you go out there, you want to make every play. It’s impossible to play a perfect game, but thats what you’re striving for as a player.” said the 6-foot-6-inch receiver from FSU. “You could have played the best game of your life but you are just thinking about that one catch or that one play or that one ball you missed but i just want to go out there and continue to get better.”

Veteran receiver Larry Brackins returned to the field late after missing the last two games to catch a 12-yard touchdown pass from Hippeard in the fourth quarter.

Newcomer to Orlando Brandon Thompkins had a star-studded performance as he received 9 passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns.

“He’s a dynamic playmaker. When you get the ball in his hands, he’s very hard to tackle, he’s a jitterbug, he’s hard to stop, but he gets a lot of YAC [Yards After the Catch], so we give it to him and let him do the work.” said Keef on the receiver who is spending his first season with the Preds. “We’re very happy we recruited him onto this football team.”

The Predators return to the field next Saturday against the Spokane Shock in Washington.