The Predators lost the only matchup of the regular season against the San Jose SaberCats Friday night, 34-51, moving their overall record to 1-11 for the 2012 season.
The Predators began the first quarter with an eight-minute drive that resulted in a turnover-on-downs on the SaberCats half-yard line. The San Jose offense took possession after the turnover and scored three plays later on a 36-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mark Grieb to wide receiver Samora Goodson. Orlando responded to the score with a touchdown, a 36-yard pass from quarterback Chris Leak to wide receiver T.T. Toliver. The SaberCats recovered the Predators’ next failed onside kick attempt. San Jose took advantage of the good field position with a touchdown on a 13-yard pass from Grieb to Goodson. The score gave the SaberCats a 14-7 lead, and brought an end to the first quarter
The Predators opened up the second quarter with a six-yard touchdown pass from Leak to wide receiver Jarvis Williams. The SaberCats scored on their next drive on a five-yard rushing touchdown by wide receiver Huey Whittaker, extending their lead, 21-14. The Predators responded to the score with a quick scoring drive of their own. Leak hit newly acquired wide receiver Glen Fox on a 48-yard touchdown pass to tie the game, 21-21. The SaberCats were able to score on their next drive on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Grieb to Whittaker. On the following kickoff, San Jose failed an onside kick-attempt. With good field position the Predators were able to capitalize with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Leak to Williams. With time expiring in the first half, SaberCats kicker Nick Pertuit nailed a 40-yard field goal to put the SaberCats up 31-27 at the half.
The SaberCats opened up the second half with a score, a touchdown pass from Grieb to Whittaker, extending the San Jose lead, 38-27. On the Predators next possession, Leak threw his first interception of the game to San Jose defensive lineman Joe Sykes. Sykes returned the interception for a touchdown, making the score, 45-27. The Predators’ next two offensive possessions both resulted in turnovers, the first a fumble by Fox, followed by another fumble by Toliver that brought an end to the third quarter, SaberCats leading, 45-27.
The Predators defense opened up the fourth quarter with an interception by defensive back Simeon Castille, his second of the game. After back-to-back defensive stops by both teams, the Predators were able to add their first score of the second half on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Leak to Williams. On the following kickoff, the Predators attempted an onside kick that was recovered by SaberCats offensive lineman Mark Lewis, who returned the kick for a short touchdown. The score extended the SaberCat lead, 51-34 and put the game out of reach for the Predators, resulting in their 11th loss of the season.
The Orlando Predators were led statistically by quarterback Chris Leak. Leak was 25 of 47, threw for 316 yards, five touchdowns, and one turnover.
Wide receivers Jarvis Williams and Glen Fox hauled in the majority of the receptions in the game. Williams had another productive game this week,
catching nine passes for 100 yards, and three touchdowns. Fox caught nine passes for 125 yards, and hauled in a touchdown pass.
The Predators were led on defense by defensive back Simeon Castille and recently activated Kenny McEntyre. Castille notched six tackles and two interceptions and McEntyre totaled six tackles in his first game back with Orlando.
Up next the Predators will return home to The Jungle to host the Tampa Bay Storm in the second “War on I-4” matchup of the season on Friday, June 15. The Storm captured the first game of the rivalry, winning 55-31 in Week 9. The 8 p.m. game will broadcast live on NFL Network.