The Orlando Predators defeated the Tampa Bay Storm, 64-40, in the 50th “War on I-4” rivalry matchup. The victory moves the Preds to 2-11 for the season and evens the all-time series record between the two teams to 25 wins each.
The Storm opened up the first quarter with possession and were able to find the end zone on a four-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Hill to wide receiver Amarri Jackson. The Predators marched down the field and scored on their next drive on a 30-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chris Leak to wide receiver T.T. Toliver. On the following kickoff, Tampa Bay fumbled on the kick return and Orlando recovered, giving the Predators good field position. Orlando capitalized off of the turnover with a touchdown, a pass from Leak to wide receiver Glen Fox, giving the Predators a 14-7 lead. On the following kickoff, the Storm fumbled and Predators kicker Mark Lewis jumped on the ball. Leak fumbled on the next play and the Storm picked it up and were able to score on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Hill to Jackson. The Predators answered the score with a 45-yard touchdown pass from Leak to wide receiver Jarvis Williams. The score extended the Predator lead, 20-14 and brought an end to the first quarter.
The Storm opened up the second quarter with a one-yard rushing touchdown by Hill on the first play. The Predators regained the lead on their next drive on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Leak to Fox, making the score, 27-21. The Storm responded with a touchdown on their next drive, a 14-yard pass from Hill to Jackson. After a missed extra point by Tampa Bay, the score was tied, 27-27. The Predators were able to add a 21-yard field goal by Lewis on their next possession. After failing an onside kick, Predators defensive back Simeon Castille intercepted a pass on the goal line, giving the Orlando offense possession with under three minutes left to play in the first half. The Predators were able to score on a four –yard touchdown pass from Leak to Williams. The score extended the Orlando lead to 37-27 and brought an end to the first half.
The Predators started out the third quarter with possession and scored on a one-yard rushing touchdown by Leak. The score extended the Predator lead, 44-27. Toliver reached a special milestone during the drive, catching his 750th pass of his career. On Tampa Bay’s next possession, Hill threw a pass that was intercepted by Castille, his second interception of the game. The Predators took advantage of the turnover with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Leak to Toliver. The Storm responded, scoring their first points of the second half on a five-yard touchdown pass from Hill to wide receiver De’Cody Fagg. The touchdown made the score, 50-34, Orlando leading at the end of the third quarter.
The Predators began the fourth quarter with a score, a rushing touchdown by Fox. On Tampa Bay’s next possession Hill threw a pass that was fumbled by wide receiver Joe Hills. Predators’ defensive back Travis Coleman recovered the ball and returned it for a touchdown. The score extended Orlando’s lead, 64-34. The Storm responded with a touchdown pass to Jackson, bringing the score to 64-40. After a missed extra point attempt, the game ended 64-40.
The Predators were led on offense by quarterback Chris Leak, who went 28-36, throwing for 293 yards and six touchdowns. He also tacked on one rushing touchdown. Receiver Glen Fox had his most productive game to date with the Preds. Fox recorded 16 receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns, as well as one rushing score. Jarvis Williams was also on point for the Predators, contributing 8 receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensive backs Simeon Castille and Kenny McEntyre were stand outs for the Predators on defense. In his first game back in The Jungle this season, McEntyre recorded nine total tackles, while Castille notched four tackles and two interceptions for the team.
Up next, the Predators host the New Orleans VooDoo in The Jungle on Friday, June 22. The VooDoo captured the first meeting against Orlando this season, winning 68-61 in Week 11. The 8 p.m. game will broadcast live on NFL Network for the Preds’ second consecutive NFL Network Game of the Week.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Glen Fox (ORL)
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Simeon Castille (ORL)
JLS Ironman of the Game: Mark Lewis (ORL)
AFL Playmaker of the Game: Amarri Jackson (TAM)
Cutters Catch of the Game: Prechae Rodriguez’s 35 yard TD catch at the end of the 1st quarter.
Spalding Highlight of the Game: Travis Coleman’s fumble recovery for a TD (4th quarter).
National Guard MVP: Glen Fox (ORL)