Jacksonville Sports Day

AFL: Orlando Predators Rush for League-Record Seven Touchdowns, Top Jacksonville Sharks

FLORIDA SPORTS WIRE
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —  
The Orlando Predators ran for seven touchdowns, an Arena Football League record, and overcame a rash of injuries to defeat the host Jacksonville Sharks 55-54 on Friday night at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.


“This is one of the proudest victories I have ever been a part of,” Orlando coach Rob Keefe said.

Preds QB Bernard Morris rushed for four scores and was forced to play defensive back after Keefe said Arnez Ikner broke his collarbone on the first play of the game.

The Preds (1-1) were thin at wide receiver after Larry Brackins was taken to the hospital with an injured finger, and Greg Carr missed a few series after Keefe said he was leg-whipped on a kickoff. Carr returned to the game.

“We were willing to do whatever it took to win,” Keefe said.

Austin Brown blocked Fabriz Scaccia’s extra-point attempt with 1 minute, 23 seconds to go, preserving Orlando’s one-point lead. The Preds ran out the remaining time without allowing the Sharks (0-2) another possession.

Special teams played a big role. Orlando kicker Mark Lewis made 7 of 8 extra points. Besides the blocked kick, Jacksonville failed on a 2-point conversion, and Scaccia misfired on another extra point.

Michael Simons’ 2-yard scoring run gave Orlando a 55-48 edge.

Orlando led 35-34 after a second quarter that saw the teams combine for 55 points. Two of the Preds’ four touchdowns in the quarter came on runs by Morris.

The Sharks grabbed the lead by scoring with 12 seconds left before halftime on Derrick Ross’ 1-yard rush, then following with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Grady to Anthony Jones. Fabriz Scaccia missed the extra point, but Jacksonville still led 40-35.

The Preds reclaimed the lead when Morris scored from 4 yards out with 6:24 remaining in the third.

Randy Hippeard started at QB for the second game in a row for the Preds and was 17-of-31 passing for 214 yards and one TD.

Brandon Thompkins led the Preds with eight catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. Carr (57 yards) and former Harmony wide receiver Justin Hilton (32 yards) made three receptions each.

Tommy Grady completed 19 of 30 passes for 213 yards and six touchdowns, five to Anthony Jones, for Jacksonville.

The Preds’ next game will be Saturday, April 11, against the host New Orleans VooDoo at 8 p.m.

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