Texas Roadhouse Recap: Preds Drop Home Opener Vs Empire, 68-40
Orlando, FLA -- The Orlando Predators (1-2) fell short against the Albany Empire (4-0) in their first home game of the season at the Amway Center, 68, 40.
Early on, Orlando was able to find success on offense after putting up the first score of the game, courtesy of a touchdown catch from wide receiver Desmond Epps, who lead all receivers with 13 catches for 123 yards.
Wide receiver Donavan Raspberry also broke 100 receiving yards (105) on his eight receptions.
The Predators even led the Empire by eleven in the first half, with a 20-9 lead being their largest of the matchup.
Orlando allowed Albany to creep back into the game after the Empire put up two quick touchdowns within the final five minutes of the first half while the Preds came up empty offensively after the hot start.
The Preds trailed at the half 32, 27.
Orlando's offense remained flat to start the second half as well.
Overall, the Preds offense suffered on third and fourth down, with only 44 and 40% conversion rate respectively.
Quarterback Bryan Hicks suffered an injury in the third period of play, but returned after missing a few plays. Hicks had 208 passing yards and six scores in his performance. Fronzy Saucedo came in for relief of Hicks and fired for two completions before sitting back down prior to the fourth quarter.
After tipped pass that resulted in an interception for Hicks, Saucedo checked back and finished the night at signal caller for the Preds.
Defensive back Josh Jenkins was able to intercept a pass in the end zone for the second time in consecutive weeks against the Empire. The pick counts as Jenkins' third takeaway within the first three games.
Special teams was a bit shaky with Kicker Jorge Leon missing two of his PAT’s. On the contrary, Brandon Feuntes stood out by laying one of the biggest hits of the night on Albany return man.
Wide receiver Prince Shonola saw his first taste of game action this season, contributing a 25-yard kickoff return.
Up next, the Orlando Predators are traveling north to take on the New Jersey Flight (1-3) at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, NJ, on Friday, June 25th.
About the Orlando Predators:
The Orlando Predators are a professional Arena Football team based in Orlando, Florida and a member of the National Arena League (NAL). The team was founded in 1991 as an expansion team of the Arena Football League (AFL). The team advanced to the playoffs 19 consecutive seasons between 1992 and 2011, becoming the Arena Bowl champions in 1998 and 2000 during that span. The team plays their home games at the Amway Center in beautiful downtown Orlando, FL. For more information about the Orlando Predators visit www.orlandopredatorsfootball.com.