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Orlando Predators lose to Philadelphia Soul on the road, 62-48

Quarterback Bernard Morris starts in place of injured Randy Hippeard

Orlando Predators
Orlando Predators

PHILADELPHIA – The Orlando Predators (3-4) lose to the Philadelphia Soul (7-0) on the road by a final score of 62-48 on Friday evening. With starting quarterback Randy Hippeard sidelined with an injury, Bernard Morris got the start under center and scored five total touchdowns, but was intercepted three times on the night.

Morris completed 21-of-40 pass attempts for 213 yards with three touchdowns and three picks while adding 55 yards and two scores on the ground. Wide Receiver Brandon Thompkins caught eight passes for 69 yards and one touchdown while also scoring on a three-yard rushing attempt. Wide Receiver Larry Brackins registered four catches for 42 yards and two scores.

The Predators defense took to the field to open the game and promptly denied Philadelphia’s offense, forcing a turnover on downs after just five plays. Orlando would convert the turnover into points moments later as Morris fired a six-yard touchdown pass to Brackins. Following a missed point-after-touchdown, Philadelphia took a 7-6 lead off a 30-yard touchdown pass from quaterback Dan Raudabaugh to wide receiver Shaun Kauleinamoku on the next play from scrimmage.

Brandon Thompkins made a diving 30-yard touchdown reception three plays into the ensuing series for a 13-7 advantage, but the Soul would answer as wide receiver Marco Thomas caught a 30-yard score from Raudabaugh to put the Predators  behind, 14-13.

Raudabaugh connected with Kauleinamoku on a 24-yard score following an interception in the end zone by Bernard Morris a series later. Morris would respond by hooking up with Brackins for their second score, as he lofted a 14-yard pass over the top of a defender in the end zone.

Kauleinamoku caught a 36-yard touchdown for the Soul a series later and built a 35-20 lead following a turnover on downs by the Predators offense. Raudabaugh completed a 40-yard scoring pass to Thomas before Morris returned to the field and put his dynamic running skills on display. On the ensuing drive, Morris dropped back to pass at midfield before scrambling out of the pocket and eluding multiple defenders while racing 25 yards to the end zone to cut the Soul lead, 35-27.

Philadelphia K Tommy Frevert would boot a 25-yard field goal as time expired in the half, leaving the Predators in a 38-27 deficit at the midway point.

Facing 4th-and-Goal on the opening drive of the third quarter, Morris had his pass attempt bounce off his receiver and into the arms of Philadelphia defensive back  LaRico Stevenson, who was tackled in the end zone for a touchback. The Soul gained a 48-27 advantage on the following series with a nine-yard touchdown reception by OL Adam Smith on a tight end screen.

Brandon Thompkins cut Philadelphia’s lead moments later as he fielded the ensuing kickoff in the end zone and sprinted 56 yards up the right sideline for a score. The Predators defense earned another stop after denying Raudabaugh’s fourth-down pass attempt and Morris once again used his legs to make it a one-score contest. Two plays into the drive, Morris ran untouched up the middle of the field on a quaterback draw for a 23-yard touchdown.

Raudabaugh completed a nine-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ryan McDaniel to push Philadelphia’s lead to 55-41 early in the fourth quarter. Facing 3rd-and-Goal a series later, Morris rushed left before flipping the ball on a reverse to Brandon Thompkins, who rushed over the right side of the goal line for a three-yard touchdown. Raudabaugh found Thomas on a 24-yard touchdown pass to push Philadelphia’s lead to 62-48 and Morris would be intercepted on the game’s final drive to end the contest.

The Orlando Predators return to the Amway Center in Week 8 to battle the Tampa Bay Storm in the “War on I-4” on  May 16 at 7 p.m. The rivalry game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.