Lakeland rallies in fourth as Kissimmee's 14-point lead evaporates
LAKELAND, Fla. A pair of touchdown runs by Adreal Curry and the passing of Rob Harding helped Kissimmee build two leads of 14 points through three quarters, then saw the effort evaporate in the fourth quarter when Lakelands defense stepped up and made stops to give the ThunderBolts a 41-31 come-from-behind win over the Kreatures in a National Indoor Football League game on Ray Lewis Field at the Lakeland Center.
Lakeland backup quarterback Michael Peeples spelled an injured Jeremy Martin in the fourth quarter and threw two touchdown passes and ran for another as the ThunderBolts (3-5) broke a 4-game losing string and get back in the Atlantic South Division race.
But it was the Lakeland defense that saw a missed Kissimmee field goal and an interception by the Bolts Aramis Haralson turn into scores that gave the momentum burst back to the home team.
Head coach Marquette Smith said his Kreatures (2-6) were fractured by then, meaning he had lost two key offensive linemen to injuries and penalties were killing us. Starting center Jason Bush went down at the end of the first series possession in the 3rd quarter and guard Corey Haynes was hurt. Coach Smith said he believed Bushs injury was an ACL. I think when we lost them, we lost our multi-faceted offense, said Smith. We just didnt make the plays after that and we will have to make better reads on offense to, if we are to get back on track.
Coach Smith went out last week and brought in seven new players, and defensive back Lorenzo Guess came in last wee before going on the Wyoming trip. Guess started on defense against Lakeland along with newcomer DB Harold Jacobs. DB Bishlar Penson and lineman Roger Williams were used in backup roles. New kicker Matt Fields, out of Rhodes College, was three-for-three on extra points, missed field goals of 48, 40 and 27, but converted a 19 yarder with 2:23 left in the game that gave Kissimmee a 31-28 edge.
Interestingly, the newest trio of Jacobs, Guess and Penson had four of the five interceptions the Kreatures snagged. Jacobs, out of the University of Minnesota, had a two picks.
Curry shared rushing duties with LaFann Williams and had 19 carries for 50 yards and Williams 15 rushes garnered 24 net yards a score.
Harding, was 13 of 23 for 125 yards and one touchdown. He was visibly upset especially after the interception by Haralson, which put the game away for the ThunderBolts.
On the receiving side, Thomas Simmons had a marvelous night with nine catches for 103 yards even though he was shutout from the endzone. Backup quarterback Brock Jones got playing time at wide receiver and he wasted no time on the left wide out side and caught a six-yard pass with 38 seconds left in the first quarter which, after Fields extra point boot, gave the Kreatures a 14-0 lead.
Currys 1-yard rush at the 4:12 mark of the 3rd quarter gave Kissimmee a 28-14 lead.
Veteran lineman-linebacker Derek Coakley collected his 52 all-time indoor sack, but was also used on offense at the left guard slot when Kissimmee succumb to injuries in the second half.
For additional information about The Kissimmee Kreatures, the NIFL, or season ticket and corporate sponsorship information, please visit our website at www.kissimmeekreatures.com or call 863-687-8110. Additional information about the team can be found at the league website, www.nationalindoorfootballleague.net, or 888-422-9682.
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