Texas Roadhouse Recap: Preds Fall to the Flight 58-40, In Trenton, NJ
PREDS FALL TO THE FLIGHT 58-40 IN TRENTON, NJ
TRENTON, NJ -- The Orlando Predators (1-3) were defeated by the New Jersey Flight (2-3) on Friday, June 25th at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, NJ.
“Well, we haven’t protected our quarterback very well and we haven't gotten after their quarterback very well,” said Predators head coach Ben Bennett. “The team that does those two the best will win the game.”
Heading into the matchup, both teams were searching for their second win of the season. The first half of action was a back and forth affair.
A deflected pass helped put the Flight on the board first, but Jersey failed to convert on the ensuing extra point.
Predators quarterback Faustino Saucedo made his first career start in relief of Bryan Hicks who was out due to concussion protocol.
Saucedo fired a perfect 2/2 on his first two passing attempts of the game, with his second pass resulting in a 32 yard score by wide receiver DJ Myers.
Myers capped off his night with 62 yards and three scores.
Wide receiver Prince Shonola also made his first appearance in a Preds uniform, catching his first touchdown of the year, finishing with seven snags. The shifty Shonola also contributed on special teams, averaging 21 yards per catch on kick return duty.
Newly acquired kicker Josh Smith was able to convert on the deuce the ensuing possession, extending Orlando’s lead 9-6 early in the first period of play.
A fumble by Saucedo just seconds before the end of the first quarter changed momentum in favor of the Flight, as they answered by putting up two scores.
On a key fourth down for the Flight, defensive back Brandon Feuntes halted Jersey’s third unanswered score by intercepting a pass in Orlando’s own end zone and returned it for a Predators pick six.
The Interception served as Feuntes' first of the season and also gave the Preds a 21, 20 lead.
Following the interception, Jersey put together a drive and second with just four seconds left, giving Jersey the lead 26-21 right before the half.
Another fumble by Sacuedo in the third quarter turned into a crazy sequence of events, ultimately ending up in the hands of the Flight.
Despite the turnovers, Sacuedo played well tossing four scores through the air and also added a few rushing attempts to his resume.
Fullback Desmond Maxwell hurdled a man for a first down, and also scored a touchdown later fourth to round the Preds final scoring drive in the fourth quarter, 40, 51.
The secondary fell a bit short in the second half, with defensive back Mike Carey having to leave the game due to a right arm injury. Carey led the team in total tackles with eight before making an early exit.
Brian Price was able to get in the game and recorded his first career interception as an Orlando Predator in Carey’s absence.
Inconsistencies in the secondary allowed the Flight to soar in the passing game, posting up 268 yards and five touchdowns through the air against the Preds.
The Black and Red were outscored 32-19 in the second half.
Although Orlando was able to turn Jersey over twice, giveaways of their own and missed PAT’s made the difference in this one.
The Predators will be looking to rebound next week, as they are set to host a rematch of their in-state rival Jacksonville Sharks (0-3) on Friday, July 2nd at home in the Amway Center at 7:30 PM.
The last time these two teams crossed paths, the Preds got the better of the Sharks 52, 41 on the road at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL, 52, 41.
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.