Predators Knock Off Undefeated Firebirds 57-49

The Orlando Predators defeated the Albany Firebirds 57-49 on Saturday, June 15, at Transfinder Field at MVP Arena in Albany, NY.

Predators Offense

After two weeks off, Quarterback Drew Powell returned to the field and looked to be in midseason form. Dotting his receivers from all over the field, Powell finished the game with 6 touchdowns through the air to each of his wide receivers and cemented the win in the game’s final possession with one on the ground.

 Powell connected with CJ Williams for three touchdowns of 21, 5, and 17 yards while connecting with Caleb Walls on a 21-yard touchdown and two touchdowns to Kamrin Solomon for 17 and 12 yards.

While the play of his receivers was impressive, Powell’s touch with the ball stole the show. Catching his wideouts perfectly out of their breaks, Powell dimed each of his passing touchdowns directly into the breadbasket of his receivers, three of which were brilliantly thrown over the back shoulder.

Powell’s poise in the pocket and ability to find the sliver of light in the Firebird defense were critical to coming away with the win on the road on a day the Firebird offense was on fire.

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Firebird Offense

Coming into the game undefeated, the Firebird offense did not miss a beat this week as Quarterback Jake Medlock came away equaling the performance of Powell. After an uncharacteristic interception on his first possession, Medlock was unphased and tossed for 7 touchdowns. Four of those passes were caught by Darius Prince, two were caught by Darien Townsend, and one was caught by Philip Barnett.

The dynamic duo of weapons of Prince and Townsend nearly stole the show in Albany as they easily had the most electric plays of the day. Townsend’s first highlight came on his first touchdown when he caught a 9-yard pass that sent him flipping over the board in the endzone.

His next highlight came as he ripped a kickoff return for a touchdown that was taken away on penalties but was critical for setting up Prince’s second touchdown. Prince’s third touchdown of the day came on a 43-yard catch as he streaked down the field and brought in the ball over his shoulder on the first play of the second half.

On the final touchdown for the Firebirds with 5:55 remaining in the game, the two made a highlight as Townsend caught a ball from the scrambling Medlock near the left side wall, juked and beat his defender, and stayed in balance to streak down the field for a 30-yard score, while Prince displayed his strength as he made a critical block on the play.

Special Teams and Control of Pace

With both teams finishing the game with 7 touchdowns, the scoring difference came down to the incredible leg of Predators Kicker Dylan Barnas. While Firebird Kicker Marc Orozco converted a kickoff for two points of his own, Barnas converted four Deuces for 8 total points and one more extra point than Orozco.

The Firebirds looked as though they could take this game after scoring the final touchdown of the first half and the first touchdown of the second half, but the Predators were able to control the pace of the last five minutes of the fourth quarter after the Firebird were unable to score on their final possession of the game.

A couple of breaks for the Predators, including a concentration catch on the wall for Williams, a drawn pass interference call, and a gritty effort by Powell to gain a goal-line conversion with 10 seconds left in the game, kept the ball out of the hands of the Firebirds and propelled the Predators to an easy score and win.

1 Comment

  • Posted June 18, 2024 2:23 pm 0Likes
    by Bryan Wright

    That would be Predators kicker Dylan Barnas

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