The Orlando Predators (8-7) fell to the Philadelphia Soul (8-8) in a nationally televised ESPN2 matchup on Monday evening, 42-35. Despite surrendering only two scores in the third and fourth quarters, missed opportunities and miscues often hampered Orlando’s offense throughout the second half.
QB Jason Boltus returned to the starting lineup and threw for 308 yards with three touchdowns while adding 14 yards and two more scores on the ground. WR Kendal Thompkins led all receivers with 12 receptions for 166 yards, while WR Greg Carr delivered two scores and 41 yards on five receptions. WR Khalil Paden added three catches for 71 yards and another touchdown.
Soul DB LaRico Stevenson took the opening kickoff 57 yards to the end zone and QB Dan Raudabaugh completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to WR Markee White a series later to give Philadelphia an early 14-0 lead. Orlando would respond on its second possession, as Boltus tossed a 27-yard score to a wide-open Khalil Paden.
Philadelphia found the end zone once again on its next drive with a two-yard run by FB Derrick Ross, but the Predators would answer in dramatic fashion. After launching a 43-yard completion to Kendal Thompkins, Boltus punched it over the goal line for the score with a one-yard carry to cut the deficit, 21-14. The Soul regained a two-score advantage off a four-yard touchdown reception by Markee White, but Orlando came storming back to tie the game heading into the midway point.
After regaining possession, Boltus executed a six-play, 45-yard drive, capping it off with a two-yard plunge over the goal line. On the ensuing kickoff, K Mark Lewis booted an onside attempt and DB Tanner Varner dove on the loose ball to retain possession. Facing 3rd-&-Goal with eight seconds remaining on the clock, Boltus lofted a one-yard pass to WR Greg Carr in the end zone. Carr used his massive frame to outmuscle a defender and secure the reception, leading to a 28-28 tie at halftime.
The late second quarter rally was short lived, as Orlando’s offense stalled early and often in the third and fourth quarters. The Predators turned the ball over four times, managing their only score of the second half in the final moments of the fourth quarter. Orlando’s defense posted two stops in the second half, but the Soul managed to score twice in the second half and the Predators were unable to overcome the 42-35 deficit.