ORLANDO – The Orlando Predators showed their resiliency Friday evening, as the team rallied in spectacular fashion for a 69-63 victory over the LA KISS in front of a crowd of 5,312 at CFE Arena. The nail biting victory marks Orlando’s first 2-0 start since the 2011 season.
Trailing 56-40, the Predators came storming out of the gates in the final quarter of play. The KISS offense took to the field at the start of the fourth, but Orlando’s defense swiftly denied Los Angeles after just three plays. Following a quick completion, Predators DB Tanner Varner knocked the football free from the grasp of KISS WR Sammie Parker. DB Arness Ikner recovered the loose ball for the Predators and QB Jason Boltus needed just one play to convert the turnover into points, tossing a 12-yard score to WR Kendal Thompkins.
Relentless in its effort, the Predators defense answered the call once again a series later. Facing fourth-and-goal, QB J.J. Raterink attempt a pass over the middle, only to have it tipped into the arms of Varner, who streaked 30 yards down the field into opposing territory. Four plays later, Boltus converted the turnover into points off a one-yard touchdown run to give Orlando its first lead of the night, 63-56.
LA forced overtime with seconds remaining on the clock, as Raterink launched a 35-yard touchdown pass to Samie Parker.
The KISS held possession at the start of the overtime period, but Orlando’s defense forced its fifth and final turnover of the night to help secure the victory for the Predators. Raterink dropped back and attempted to force the ball over the middle on the first snap of the series, but his throw was contested by DB Phillip Thomas, who came down with the interception and raced 17 yards before being tackled just shy of the goal line. Two plays later, Boltus punched it into the end zone on a one-yard quarterback sneak, sealing the 69-63 victory for Orlando.
Boltus finished the night with nine total touchdowns to his credit, as the quarterback threw for 285 yards and six scores while adding three more touchdowns on the ground. WR Khalil Paden led all receivers with 154 yards and two touchdowns on six receptions, while WR Kendal Thompkins snared seven passes for 63 yards and three scores.
The Orlando Predators take to the road for the first time during the 2014 season in Week 3, as the team renews its rivalry with the Tampa Bay Storm in the “War on I-4.” The matchup is set to be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.