NEW ORLEANS - The Orlando Predators won their second victory of the season on Saturday defeating New Orleans Voodoo 47-42 on their own turf, the Smoothie King Center in Louisiana. Wide receiver Brandon Thompkins, returned two kicks for scores of over 50 yards.
Quarterback Randy Hippeard completed 19 of 28 pass attempts for 236 yards and four touchdowns, connecting with wide receiver Kendal Thompkis on eight passes for 64 years and two scores. Wide receiver Greg Carr added four receptions for 62 years and one touchdown with full back Michael Simons moving 67 total yards catching two passes for 45 years and carried three times for 22 yards.
New Orleans scored during the game’s opening possession following a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Adam Kennedy to wide receiver Chris Duvalt. Orlando matched the score on its first series as QB Randy Hippeard dropped back and lofted a 19-yard scoring completion to WR Kendal Thompkins in the left corner of the end zone. The Predators tightened their defense on the ensuing series, forcing three straight incompletion in the red zone to hold the Voodoo to a 28-yard field goal. Moments later, wide receiver Greg Carr made a leaping nine-yard touchdown reception to give the Predators a 13-10 lead minutes into the second quarter.
The VooDoo matched the touchdown off a 12-yard pass from Kennedy to Duvalt for a 16-13 advantage, however the lead was short lived as WR Brandon Thompkins put his electric return skills on display. Moments after the score, Thompkins received the ensuing kickoff and raced through the middle of the field, side-stepping would-be tacklers on his way to a 51-yard touchdown. New Orleans regained possession, but a stifling Predators defense forced another field goal try, this time from midfield. As K Garrett Lindholm’s kick bounced off the right nets, Thompkins secured the miss attempt and darted up field. The fleet-footed wide receiver eluded multiple defenders before cutting up the right sideline and racing to the end zone for a 52-yard touchdown to give the Predators a 27-16 lead.
New Orleans found the end zone late in the second quarter off a seven-yard pass from Kennedy to Duvalt, but the Preds closed out the half with a successful 17-yard field goal attempt by K Mark Lewis, leading to a 30-22 lead at the midway point.
The Predators regained possession at the start of the third quarter and converted the drive into points as Mark Lewis booted a 19-yard field goal for a 33-22 advantage. New Orleans would respond on its first series of the second half, scoring on a 13-yard pass from Kennedy to Franklin.
Orlando answered the score on the first play of the final quarter as Hippeard fired a nine-yard touchdown strike to a wide-open Kendal Thompkins for a 40-29 lead. Two plays later, the VooDoo found the end zone off a 35-yard completion from Kennedy to Franklin.
The Predators turned the ball over on downs on its next offensive series, but Orlando’s defense swiftly answered the call to regain possession. On the first play of the ensuing series, rookie nose guard Austin Brown broke through the interior of the offensive line and sacked Kennedy for a nine-yard loss, forcing him to fumble in the process. LB Aaron Robbins recovered the loose ball for Orlando and the Predators need just two plays to score as Hippeard lofted a four-yard touchdown pass to rookie WR LaMark Brown in the right corner of the end zone.
The Orlando Predators return home to the Amway Center in Week 4 to battle the Los Angeles KISS on April 18 at 7p.m. EST.
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