The Pittsburgh Power had a great chance to get their second win of the season as they played the Orlando Predators, the only team that was without a victory in the Arena Football League, but they were not up to the task losing 52-38.
The Predators recently acquired AFL veteran Aaron Garcia to play quarterback and his six touchdowns would put his team over the top.
It was the Power that scored first when Jordan Jefferson scored on the quarterback keeper. The extra point was missed by Josh Czajkowski however and it was the first of three PAT’s missed. This perhaps was the start of the Predators 21-0 scoring run following this.
Head Coach Derek Stingley later said that that he has never coached a team with so many pass protection breakdowns. He said he has tried simplifying the playbook as much as possible, however it is not working and the players are not responding.
The 21-0 run showed this as it started with a two yard run by Marlon Moye-Moore to take the 7-6 lead after one quarter. The other two scores were 12 yard Garcia passes to Prechae Rodriguez and Jason Geathers.
Shamar Graves was a bright spot for the Power and wowed the fans with his fight. He would score on a four yard pass from Jefferson to cut the lead to 21-13, however Rodriguez and Garcia connected for a 38 yard score giving them a 28-13 lead at the half.
The second half started off strong for the Power as they got back into the game. Jefferson again connected with Graves from four yards out and then Alvin Ray Jackson made a big 44 yard interception return for a touchdown cutting the lead to 28-26. If Czajkowski had not missed two extra points at this stage of the game, then it would have been a tie score.
At this point in the game, the fans had to be thinking of the 31 point comeback the Power had over these same Predators a season ago, but this time it would be different.
Orlando drove the football down the field again with Garcia connecting on a four yard score with Rodriguez for their third connection of the lead. Later their kicker Mark Lewis made a 23 yard field goal extending the lead to 38-26 before the teams traded scores.
The Power scored the first touchdown of the final score when Jefferson found Mike Washington for a seven yard score. The point after again was missed. Garcia then connected with T.T. Toliver on a 25 yard score to offset that score.
The Power scored for the last time at the one minute warning when Kirby Griffin ran the ball into the end zone from the Predators one yard line. 10 seconds later though, Garcia found Toliver again on an 11 yard pass to put the game out of reach.
The Power will take to the road Saturday to face the Philadelphia Soul. The opening kickoff will be at 7 p.m.