After a stunning upset of the Jacksonville Sharks in week 1, the New Orleans Voodoo have reverted back to the team that finished 3-15 a year ago. The Voodoo fought back late on Saturday but could not get a late stop and fell to 1-2 after a 47-42 loss to the Orlando Predators.
The Voodoo were hanging in all game long, but a completion on 4th and 2 from Randy Hippard to Kendal Thompkins helped the Predators seal the deal.
New Orleans was done in by bad drives in the second half, particularly after Voodoo quarterback Adam Kennedy turned the ball over late in the 4th quarter, which led to a Predators touchdown that put them up 47-36.
New Orleans falls to 1-2 and plays at 1-2 Tampa Bay next week.
PRESS RELEASE STORY:
NEW ORLEANS –The Orlando Predators (2-1) used two big special teams plays in the first half to control the game and defeat the New Orleans VooDoo (1-2) in a hard hitting affair 47-42 Saturday night at the Smoothie King Center.
Orlando wide receiver Brandon Thompkins caught a 31-yard pass from Predators quarterback Randy Hippeard on 4th and 6 late with just under thirty seconds to play to seal the victory for the Predators. A thorn in the VooDoo’s side all night, Thompkins did most of his damage in the return game. Thompkins returned a kickoff 51 yards for a touchdown, and returned a missed field goal 52 yards for a score on the very next VooDoo possession. The quick 14 point burst gave the Predators a 27-16 with 5:10 left in the first half.
Thompkins also had four receptions for 60 yards for a combined total of 243 all-purpose yards.
Predator quarterback Randy Hippeard was sharp, completing 19-of-28 for 236 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed twice for 12 yards. Kendal Thompkins also caught eight passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns.
Trailing 40-36 in the fourth quarter, the VooDoo defense forced a critical fourth down stop with 9:11 to go in the game, but Orlando defensive lineman Orlando Brown sacked and forced a fumble from Adam Kennedy for the game’s only turnover. Hippeard connected with LaMark Brown for a four yard score on the next play, extending the lead for good.
Kennedy finished his night 23-of-39 for 251 yards and six touchdowns. Receiver Carlese Franklin grabbed nine catches for a team-high of 118 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Duvault also collected nine receptions, for 94 and three touchdowns as well.
“I’m proud of the way we played tonight,” said Coach Dean Cokinos. “We gave ourselves a chance to win, but obviously we didn’t capitalize. We will get better, and we will fix this.”
New Orleans travels to Tampa Bay next week to take on the Storm for the team’s first road game. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CST at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay. Fans can watch a live stream on ESPN3.com or on the WatchESPN App. Radio broadcast is available on 1280 AM or on the iHeart Radio App.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game – QB Randy Hippeard (ORL) 19-28, 236 yards 4 TD.
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game – DL Austin Brown (ORL) 2 tackles, 2 sacks.
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game – WR Brandon Thompkins (ORL) 183 return yards, 2 TD.
Cutters Catch of the Game -Thompkins 31-yard 4th down catch to seal the win.
AFL Highlight of the Game -Thompkins 52-yard missed FG return.