Jacksonville Sports Day

AFL: Late Game Heroics Lift Predators Past Sharks

The Orlando Predators (3-0) renewed their rivalry with the Jacksonville Sharks (1-2) in front of 7,835 fans at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on Monday night.

The back-and-forth battle came down to the game’s final moments as Orlando emerged with a 63-56 victory to remain perfect on the 2016 season.

The contest looked to be in jeopardy when Jacksonville recovered an onside kick to regain possession inside Orlando territory with under a minute remaining and the score tied, 56-56. In need of a big play from the defense, nose guard Terrance Taylor answered the call for the Predators as he broke through the interior and stripped Jacksonville QB Tommy Grady, recovering the loose ball to regain possession for Orlando with only 32 seconds remaining.

Two plays into the resulting drive, Hippeard dropped back and launched a deep 33-yard pass to WR Greg Carr, who secured an outstanding one-handed touchdown grab with a defender hanging on him.

Jacksonville got the ball back with 19 seconds remaining and managed to drive to Orlando’s 10, but DB Varmah Sonie broke up a pass to the end zone as time expired to seal the victory.

Randy Hippeard completed 26-of-37 pass attempts for 296 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions, adding 12 yards and two more scores on the ground.

Brandon Thompkins paced the receiving corps with nine receptions for 83 yards and one touchdown and also returned a missed field goal 54 yards for a score. Making his first appearance of the season, Larry Brackins caught two passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns while adding a 12-yard kick return for a score. Greg Carr added eight receptions for 108 yards and another score.

Grady completed 29 of his 40 pass attempts for 289 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.

Joe Hills led the Sharks with 11 catches for 124 yards and three scores, while Roger Jackson caught 10 passes and Tiger Jones hauled in seven. With 69 receiving yards, Jones moved past both Chris Jackson and Barry Wagner and into third place on the AFL’s all-time receiving yardage list.

Moqut Ruffins took a screen pass nine yards for his first score of the season, while Derrick Ross ran the ball eight times for 15 yards and three touchdowns.

On defense, Reid recorded seven tackles and two pass breakups to go along with his interception. Alvin Ray Jackson made 5.5 stops, recovered two fumbles and picked off a pass, while LaRoche Jackson recorded 5.5 tackles and executed a fake extra point for two points.

UNDER ARMOUR OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jacksonville WR Joe Hills

RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jacksonville LB Alvin Ray Jackson

J.LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME: Orlando WR Brandon Thompkins

CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME: 33-yard TD reception by Orlando WR Greg Carr (Q4 | 0:19)

AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME: 54-yard missed FG return for a TD by Orlando WR Brandon Thompkins (Q2 | 0:00)​

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *