The Orlando Predators played their first away game of the season Thursday at the Allstate Arena against the Chicago Rush. The Preds fell to the Rush 51-49 making their overall record for the season 0-2.
The game was off to a busy start for the Predators, with defensive back Simeon Castille recovering a fumble for a touchdown on the opening kickoff. After a Travis Coleman interception, Preds quarterback Collin Drafts hit wide receiver Dwayne Eley Jr. for a 36-yard touchdown pass, spreading the lead 14-0. The Rush scored a touchdown on their next possession, bringing an end to the first quarter, with a score of 14-7.
The Rush started off the second quarter capitalizing off a Drafts interception with a long touchdown pass to Reggie Gray, tying the game 14-14. The two teams exchanged touchdowns, making the score 21-21. With under a minute to play, the Rush scored on a rushing touchdown, leaving 26 seconds on the clock. Drafts led the offense down the field, ending the drive on a touchdown strike to wide receiver T.T. Toliver, tying the score 28-28. With seconds left on the clock, Rush defensive back Kelvin Rodgers returned the kickoff for a touchdown, ending the first half with a 35-28 lead.
The Rush opened up the second half with another touchdown pass to Gray, his fourth of the game. The Predators answered with a Drafts rushing touchdown, cutting the lead 41-35.
To start the fourth quarter, the Rush added a field goal and the Predators scored on their opening drive, a touchdown pass from Drafts to wide receiver Nate Forse, narrowing the Rush lead to 44-42. The Rush added one more touchdown to Gray, his fifth of the game, extending their lead 51-42. The Predators tacked on another touchdown with 30 seconds left to make the score 51-49. The Preds attempted an onside kick but couldn’t recover it, losing 51-49.
The Predators were led on offense by quarterback Collin Drafts. He was 19-37, threw for 278 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. Nate Forse and T.T. Toliver had the bulk of the receptions, Forse with 11 receptions for 135 yards, and two touchdowns. Toliver had six receptions for 72 yards and one touchdown.
On defense, the Preds were led by Ahmad Carroll, who notched seven tackles and Terrance Carter who recorded three tackles and two sacks.
Up next the Orlando Predators will play their second home game of the season against the San Antonio Talons at the Amway Center on Thursday, March 29th at 7:30 p.m. EST.