After a hard fought game that came down to the final seconds, the Orlando Predators fell to the New Orleans VooDoo in The Jungle Friday night, 48-41. The second loss of the season to the VooDoo brings the Preds overall season record to 2-12.
The Predators received the football to start the first half and missed a19-yard field goal on their first offensive drive. On the VooDoo’s first possession, quarterback Kurt Rocco fumbled the football after getting hit by Predators defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock. Orlando defensive back Erick Harris recovered the football, giving the Predators good field position. The Preds capitalized off of the turnover with a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chris Leak to wide receiver Jarvis Williams. The VooDoo responded with a score on their next possession on a three-yard rushing touchdown by wide receiver Courtney Smith. On the Predators next drive, Leak threw a pass that was intercepted by VooDoo defensive back Gladel Brutus. The interception gave New Orleans good field position and brought an end to the first quarter, with the Predators leading, 7-6.
The VooDoo opened up the second quarter with a touchdown pass from Rocco to wide receiver Quorey Payne, giving New Orleans a 13-7 lead. On the Predators next possession, Leak threw a pass in the end zone that was intercepted by VooDoo linebacker Alvin-Ray Jackson. New Orleans took advantage of the turnover and scored on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Rocco to Smith, extending their lead, 20-7. Orlando was able to find the end zone on their next drive on a 21-yard pass from Leak to wide receiver T.T. Toliver. On the following kickoff, the Predators failed an onside kick-attempt, giving the VooDoo the football on the Predators nine-yard line. On the first play of the VooDoo drive, Preds defensive back Kenny McEntyre intercepted a Rocco pass in the end zone. The Predators were able to capitalize off of McEntyre’s interception with a one-yard touchdown pass from Leak to Toliver, putting Orlando in the lead, 21-20, at the end of the first half.
The VooDoo started the second half with a 45-yard touchdown pass from Rocco to Payne. The Predators were able to find the end zone on their next drive on a rushing touchdown by fullback Chris Jamison, regaining the lead, 28-26. After a defensive stop, Leak fumbled on the Preds next offensive drive and VooDoo linebacker Derandus Frye recovered. The fumble gave the VooDoo good field position and brought an end to the third quarter with the Predators leading, 28-26.
New Orleans opened up the fourth quarter with a rushing touchdown by wide receiver Josh Bush. The score put the VooDoo up 32-28. The Predators regained the lead on their next possession on a rushing touchdown by Jamison, his second of the game, giving Orlando a 35-32 lead with 7:44 remaining. New Orleans answered the score with a touchdown pass from Rocco to Bush. The score put the VooDoo ahead, 40-35, with 1:32 left in the game. On the following kickoff, the VooDoo failed an onside kick-attempt, giving the Predators good field position. The Predators took advantage, scoring on a touchdown pass from Leak to Williams. After a failed two-point conversion, Orlando had a 41-40 lead with 51 seconds left to play. The VooDoo were able to score with a rushing touchdown by Smith on their next possession. The score gave New Orleans a 46-41 lead with 21 seconds left. On the Predators next drive, Leak fumbled and the ball was recovered in the end zone, giving New Orleans a safety to bring the final score to 48-41 at the end of the game.
The Predators were led statistically by quarterback Chris Leak. Leak was 25-36, threw for 244 yards, four touchdowns, and committed four turnovers. Wide receivers Glen Fox and Jarvis Williams received the bulk of the passes in the game. Fox caught twelve passes for 117 yards. Williams hauled in seven passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Fullback Chris Jamison also had a great game for the Preds, hauling in two rushing touchdowns.
The Preds were led on defense by defensive back Kenny McEntyre. McEntyre had twelve total tackles and one interception.
Up next, the Predators travel to Georgia to take on the Force for the second time this season. The Predators defeated the Force in their first matchup this season in Week Seven, 27-24. The 3 p.m. game will kick off on Sunday, July 1 from the Gwinnett Center. The game will broadcast live on Brighthouse Sports Network and OrlandoPredators.com/Live.