ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Predators beat rival Tampa Bay Storm 56-33 Friday night as quarterback Bernard Morris having a hand in all eight touchdowns.
Morris completed 16-of-23 pass attempts for 131 yards and five touchdowns while adding 31 yards and three more scores on the ground, the Predators said. He hooked up with Greg Carr five times for 43 yards and three touchdowns. Brandon Thompkins paced the receivers with seven catches for 54 yards and two scores.
The Predators jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead beginning with a 9-yard touchdown run by Morris on the game's opening drive. The team said Emanuel Cook intercepted Tampa Bay's quarterback, Jason Boltus, on the ensuing drive and Orlando converted the turnover into points as Morris fired a 10-yard scoring strike to Thompkins.
The Storm ended the drought early in the second quarter with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Boltus to Prechae Rodriguez, but Morris would regain a two-score lead for Orlando a series later with his second touchdown run of the night.
Orlando built a 49-20 lead in the second half that started with an interception by Paul Stephens on the opening drive of the third quarter.
The Predators said Morris converted the turnover into his third rushing touchdown and the defense once again denied Tampa Bay a series later, forcing a turnover on downs. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Morris found Carr for a third touchdown, this time from 9 yards out.
Rodriguez posted his third touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter, but Morris responded a series later, lofting a 2-yard score to Thompkins for a 56-27 advantage, the Predators said. The Storm would get one more score off an 8-yard reception by V'Keon Lacey before Orlando ran out the clock.
The Predators said the #OrlandoUnited community was on full display as a season-high crowd of 13,527 packed the Amway Center.
Orlando heads into a bye week before returning to the field for a road game against the Portland Steel on July 9.