Predators handed first lost of the season by the Carolina Cobras

Miscues on all three sides of the football led head coach Jeff Higgins’s Predators to their first loss of the season on Saturday against the Cobras.

Orlando (1-1) took a 48-26 loss to Carolina (2-0) after the team could not seem to find rhythm from the start of the game. Higgins said this loss shows everyone that it is a process to put the team together and there will be bumps in the road along the way.

“This is kind of a long process and it’s a whole new football team,” Higgins said. “We have a good core that came back but all in all, that takes some time to build. We’ll be ready to go next week.”

In a game of miscues for the Predators, they found themselves in a hole going into halftime down 27-6. Pressure from the Cobra’s defensive line led Orlando quarterback Rakeem Cato scrambling around looking to make a play. It was not until late in the second quarter where fullback Kewan Alfred took a 19-yard run in for a touchdown.

Despite being down at halftime, the Predators came out of the gate swinging and opened the second half with a touchdown pass from Cato to wide receiver and defensive back Clarence Williams. However, despite coming out of the half with a new gameplan, Carolina found a way to continue to pressure the offense and find holes in the defense. 

Lineman De’Quan Murray said the loss was a group effort, which is something that the team will have to build on.

“We lost because of us, not because of Carolina,” Murray said. “We couldn’t stop adversity, and that’s just what it is from top to bottom, no excuses. We are going to get back to the drawing board, add some things, subtract some things and we come out with a win next week. ”

The Predators will play their first home game on Saturday against the defending NAL Champion Albany Empire (1-1) on Saturday. Cato said getting a chance to play at home could be a step in the right direction in terms of setting the tempo going forward for the rest of the season. 

“I’m excited to go out there and win the day,” Cato said. “We’re trying to go 1-0 each and every day so Saturday, we can go 1-0. I’m excited to play in front of the home crowd, in front of the family, and to just go out there and have a blast.”

Higgins said the team’s goal going into practice this week is to focus on the problems and make sure they are fixed when they head home to play Albany.

“We got things that we all got to fix,” Higgins said. “Nobody has any excuses, we’re in it together, they support me and I support them. We’re going to come back and we are going to be ready.”