Orlando, FL— The LA KISS (2-2) were unable to overcome four turnovers and were defeated by the Orlando Predators (4-0) by a score of 43 to 40 in front of 10,127 fans at the Amway Center on Saturday evening.
LA KISS quarterback Nathan Stanley led the offensive attack by completing 27 of 41 passes for 297 yards and 5 touchdowns. DJ Stephens continued his stellar play, catching 10 passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns. Brandon Collins added seven receptions for 62 yards. Donovan Morgan tallied six receptions for 54 yards and two touchdowns.
Orlando Predators quarterback Randall Hippeard completed 22 of 32 pass attempts for 273 yards, while throwing five touchdowns and two interceptions. Brandon Thompkins led the Predators offense with seven catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns. LaMark Brown caught six passes for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Fredrick Obi led the LA KISS defense with five tackles and one interception. Rayshaun Kizer added three tackles and an interception. Kent Richardson led the Predators defense with 11 total tackles. Willie McGinis added three tackles and two sacks.
After returning the opening kickoff, the LA KISS got on the scoreboard first when Rory Nixon scored on a one-yard touchdown run. The Kevin Goessling kick was good making the score 7-0 with 10:13 remaining in the quarter. Then Hippeard found Brown for a two-yard touchdown. After Mark Lewis found the uprights, the score was even at seven. On the first play of the following possession, Varmah Sonie intercepted Stanley’s pass. Orlando capitalized on the LA KISS turnover when Hippeard hit Carr for an 11-yard touchdown. After an unsuccessful point after, the score was 13-7. Then the LA KISS capped off a five-play drive with an eight-yard touchdown reception from Stanley to Stephens. Goessling’s point after was good and the LA KISS regained the lead with 18 seconds left in the period. At the end of the quarter, the LA KISS led by a score of 14-13.
Orlando led off the second quarter with a Hippeard to Thompkins 22-yard touchdown. Brown missed his second straight point after and the Predators led 19-14. The LA KISS countered with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Stanley to Stephens. The point after was good making the score 21-19. On the ensuing possession, Orlando settled for a 22-yard Lewis field goal and retook the lead. After a Stanley interception, the Predators were unable to find the end zone as time expired. Orlando led at halftime by a score of 22-21.
Hippeard connected with Brackins for a 5-yard touchdown to start the third quarter. A successful Lewis kick gave the Predators a 29-21 lead. Orlando extended their lead to 15 after Hippeard found Thompkins for a 44-yard touchdown pass. The LA KISS botched the ensuing kickoff. After Brackins recovered the ball in the end zone, Lewis’ kick was good and the Gladiators led by 22 points. At the end of the third quarter, the score was 43-21.
On the first drive of the fourth quarter, Stephens scored on a 15-yard pass from Stanley to limit the LA KISS deficit to 15 points. Then Hippeard and Stanley threw interceptions on back-to-back possessions. After an Orlando turnover on downs, Stanley connected with Morgan for a six-yard touchdown. The LA KISS were unable to convert a two-point conversion and the Predators led by nine points with two minutes remaining. Following a successful onside kick, Morgan caught a 22-yard touchdown from Stanley. The point after was no good and the score was 43-40. The LA KISS magic ran out and were unable to convert a second straight onside kick. The final scoreboard had the Orlando Predators beating the LA KISS by a score of 43 to 40.
Next week, the LA KISS will welcome the Philadelphia Soul to the Honda Center on Monday, May 2nd. Kickoff for the first installment of the ‘Rocks vs. Jocks’ rivalry will be at 5:00 pm. The game will be broadcast on Univision Deportes and be available to streamed online via WatchESPN and ESPN 3.
Under Armour Player of the Game: Orlando QB Randy Hippeard
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Orlando DB Varmah Sonie
J. Lewis Small Player of the Game: Orlando WR Brandon Thompkins
Cutters Catch of the Game: 33-yard touchdown reception by LA WR DJ Stephens (Q2 | 10:34)
AFL Highlight of the Game: CLE - 44-yard TD reception by Orlando WR Brandon Thompkins (Q3 | 5:02)