TEXAS ROADHOUSE RECAP: PREDS DEFEAT RIVAL SHARKS TO SECURE FIRST WIN
JACKSONVILLE, FLA -- The Orlando Predators (1-1) defeated the Jacksonville Sharks (0-1) in their second game of the season on the road at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL, 52, 41.
The win goes down as head coach Ben Bennett and his coaching staff's first career win with the Orlando Predators.
Despite Jacksonville jumping out to an early 15-0 lead, the Preds remained composed and capitalized off the Sharks mistakes as the game wore on.
Orlando’s defense came up big against the Sharks forcing four total turnovers, two of which were returned for defensive scores.
One of the two defensive touchdowns came from a 50-yard scoop and score courtesy of defensive back Brain Foy.
Mike Carey and reigning National Arena League Defensive Player of the Week Josh Jenkins each recorded an interception against the in-state rival Sharks. Even wide receiver D.J Myers managed to snag an interception when he had to fill in at linebacker due to an injury suffered by Brian Price.
The Preds also brought the pressure up north with them on the bus to Jacksonville, registering a sack from Zack Brown. Sharks starting quarterback Mike Fafaul went down in the second quarter with an ankle injury. Fafual exited with three touchdown passes and an interception in the unfinished effort.
Orlando’s offense also played a prevalent role in the win as well.
Quarterback Bryan Hicks completed 16 of his 24 passes and threw for five scores tallying his total to ten touchdown passes on throughout the first two games.
Wide receiver DJ Myers was on the receiving end on four of Hicks’ five touchdown tosses, Myers also found himself in the end zone on a trick play where he caught a deep double pass from wide receiver Rob Jones (2019 Second Team All-NAL).
Myers finished the matchup with 8 receptions for 103 yards and five scores.
Donovan Rasberry and Desmond Epps each caught a touchdown in the second half to help secure the Preds lead when the Sharks started to narrow the deficit.
The Preds were up on the Sharks for the entirety of the second half, with their largest lead being 11 points. Despite trailing the final two quarters, Jacksonville came within four points of the Predators on three separate possessions in the fourth quarter.
This victory serves as the Predators third win in the NAL since joining in 2019. Orlando is now 1-1 on the season.
The Black and Red put together an impressive effort in all three phases of the game to put up their first win of the year against the defending NAL Champions.
Up next, the Orlando Predators are set to host their first home game of the 2021 season against the Albany Empire (3-0) at the Amway Centre in Orlando, FL, on Saturday, June 19th.
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.