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Orlando Predators (1-1) at Massachusetts Pirates (0-2)

 DG6A0326

Saturday, April 27 DCU Center Worcester, MA 7:00 PM

 The Pirates will attempt to halt their longest losing streak in franchise history when they face the Orlando Predators at the DCU Center this Saturday at 7:00 PM.  The 0-2 Pirates have lost three straight games dating back to last season and have scored no more than 22 points in either of its first two games in 2019.  The Predators, an expansion franchise in the National Arena League, won their season and home opener vs. Columbus by two points and last week allowed the most points in a game by any team in the league in a loss to New York. 

The Series:

This is the first ever meeting between the two teams. The Pirates are 1-1 all-time when facing expansion teams. The Pirates defeated Maine in their home opener last season 51-24 on April 7 at the DCU Center and dropped a 55-47 contest in Greensboro, NC to the Carolina Cobras on April 21. 

The Coaches:

Both coaches are in their first season.

Orlando coach Doug Miller is 1-1 while the Pirates Anthony Payton is 0-2.  Both were former arena football league players and assistant coaches.

Streaks:

Both teams are looking to get back in the win column. Orlando lost its last game while the Pirates are looking to avoid an 0-3 start and what would be a string of four losses dating back to last seasons’ playoffs. The Pirates have also lost their last two games at the DCU Center.

The last time out:

Last week the Pirates lost in Carolina to the Cobras 50-22. This came on the heels of a 54-22 defeat at the DCU Center in week one.  Pirates quarterback Sean Brackett was 19 of 41 for 150 yards with three touchdown passes and two interceptions. Lavon Pearson was the Pirates leading receiver with eight catches for 45 yards and a score. Mardy Gilyard had two TD receptions in the defeat.

The Predators lost on the road in White Plains, NY to the Streets 70-31. QB Kyle Israel completed 16 of 27 passes for 245 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of picks.  Edward Victorian was the top target with seven receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown.  The 70 points allowed is the most by any team in the NAL so far this season. The Predators won their home opener two weeks ago over the Columbus Lions 42-40.

League Leaders

Through the first two games of the season, Pirates fullback Quayvon Hicks leads the NAL with 31 rushing yards on 10 carries and he also leads the league in rushing yards per game with 15.5.

Pirates quarterback Sean Brackett currently tops the NAL with 5.5 yards per carry as he has gained 22 yards on four attempts.

Brackett, Israel and Columbus quarterback Luke Collis have all thrown four interceptions this season which, which tops that category.

Pirates kick returner Mardy Gilyard leads the NAL with an average of 26 yards per return. His 130 yards in five attempts is also a league best.  

Up Next:

The Pirates will be home again next week at the DCU Center to face the Jacksonville Sharks in an 8:20 PM start while the Predators will be on the road in Columbus to face the Lions at 7:00 PM. That will be the third game in a six game road swing for Orlando.

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