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Preds beat Sharks 64-50, clinch South Division title

Predators secure home field advantage in first round of postseason

WR Brandon Thompkins.
WR Brandon Thompkins. (Brion Price)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Predators have clinched a second straight South Division Championship with their 64-50 win over the Jacksonville Sharks.

Saturday's win clinched not only a second straight South Division title, but also a first-round home game in the Arena Football League Playoffs.

"To win back-to-back South Division championships in the first two years of this staff is unbelievable," said head coach Rob Keefe. "It means the world to me. I'm so excited for this organization."

The Predators' first three touchdowns were scored by the offense, defense and special teams, respectively. Larry Brackins caught a 7-yard Randy Hippeard aerial.

Just 1:15 later, Nick Taylor returned an interception 25 yards to make it 17-14, the team said. After Jacksonville pushed its lead to 23-14, Brandon Thompkins swung momentum quickly. Thompkins turned on the jets for a 56-yard kickoff return score to make it 23-20.

"What I was proud about -- and it almost makes me tear up -- is we were down 17-0," Keefe said. "To win this thing 64-50, I think it speaks to the character, I think it speaks to the heart, I think it speaks to the fan base that continued to provide us great energy. It was a great win all-around."

The Predators return Saturday to the Amway Center for the team's regular season finale against the division-rival Tampa Bay Storm. For tickets, call 407-355-2200 or visit OrlandoPredators.com.