Coming off a bye week, the Predators were able to get back into the win column after their second matchup with the San Antonio Gunslingers.
The Predators (2-3) defeated the Gunslingers (0-4) 63-52 on Saturday in Orlando. Predators head coach Jeff Higgins said it was the work of all three phases of the game that allowed the Predators to pull through for their second win of the season.
“We made some mistakes, but we fought through,” Higgins said. “Offense came through, defense came through, and special teams did well, too. The three phases helped us pull through.”
After a slow start on special teams at the beginning of the season, with the team finding trouble snapping the ball in field goal situations and kicking errors, the team has found a way to combat those problems and get some points on the board from the leg of kicker Daniel Justino, who converted a deuce during Saturday’s matchup.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Predators saw an exploding performance by receiver Clarence Williams, who racked up eight catches for 104 yards and three touchdowns. On his performance, Williams said despite a rough first half for him, he just had to come out in the second half and do what he does best.
The defensive line stood out and maintained pressure on Gunslingers quarterback Robert Kent, forcing three sacks. Despite the slow start to the season for the Predators, the defensive line duo of Freddie Both-Lloyd and Sha-Ki Holines have a combined 10.5 sacks through the season so far. After receiving praise from fellow lineman De’Quan Murray, calling them the best defensive line duo in the league, Holines said he finds it hard to disagree with him.
“Honestly I can’t degree with him,” Holines said. “Me and Freddy just go to work every day. We try to practice like we are in the game and we don’t take reps off and we try to put on a show every week.
“We want to be known as the best d-line in the league for sure.”
Orlando will have less than a week until its next matchup against the Columbus Lions (2-2) at the Amway Center on Friday. Murray said he expects an aggressive team visiting Orlando, but the Predators are going to remain focused.
“Columbus is going to come in here on some very aggressive stuff,” Murray said. “We’re coming off of a big win and we are going to use that momentum to go into next week.”
Higgins said the team needs to remain focused and maintain a 0-0 mentality to the remainder of the games this season.
“When we come back (to practice) on Monday, we’re 0-0,” Higgins said. “We will see where that mindset goes next week.”