Thunder Heap More Misery on Struggling KISS, Win 63-47
PORTLAND - Darron Thomas' first start of the season couldn't have gone any better, as the former Oregon quarterback finished with 229 yards passing, 6 passing touchdowns, and added another one rushing, driving the Portland Thunder (3-4, 1-1) to a 63-47 victory over the winless LA KISS (0-8, 0-3) in front of 10,023 fans at the Moda Center Saturday night.
On an evening honoring our men and women in uniform, as well as "Thunder Tackles Cancer" night, Thomas was able to spread the ball around to five different receivers, with Jared Perry and V'Keon Lacey leading the way. Lacey would finish with a team leading four touchdowns and Perry would lead the team in yards with 109.
Thomas helped engineer the Thunder to their second highest points total in franchise history (63). "It's real important to go out every series and make every series count," said Thomas after the game. "I've been waiting for the opportunity."
Coach Hohensee added, "I think they [the team] accepted Darron Thomas being moved to the forefront for the opportunity and the team really responded."
In the first quarter, the Thunder set the tone with an early sack of LA KISS quarterback Danny Southwick by KC Obi, forcing a KISS field goal attempt. LA KISS kicker Kenny Spencer subsequently missed the field goal setting up the Thunder with their first possession of the game. Thomas found Perry for a 32 yard completion to set up the Thunder nicely in the red zone. Thomas was able to open the scoring for the game with a 2-yard rushing touchdown at the 8:50 mark of the first quarter. The KISS responded in their second drive of the first half, where Southwick was able to find a wide open Donovan Morgan for a 17 yard touchdown pass. However, in the Thunder's next possession, on a 4th down and 8, Thomas again found a wide open Jared Perry, up the seam, for a 16 yard touchdown pass giving the Thunder a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter started off the same way as first. A collective sack by Frank Trotter, KC Obi, and Dexter Davis forced a 4th and 4 for the LA KISS where Thunder defensive back De'Mon Glanton made a huge stop on former Thunder and current LA KISS wide receiver Jeffrey Solomon to force a turnover on downs. That stop led to Thomas finding V'Keon Lacey for a jump ball in the back of the end zone resulting in a 7-yard touchdown pass with 10:52 to go in the second. The KISS immediately responded to the Lacey score with a 55-yard kick return for a touchdown by Laron Scott bringing the LA KISS within one score. The Thunder's next drive featured Lacey snagging a 22 yard reception which set up Thomas to drop a dime over KISS defensive back Anthony Goodwin for a spectacular 9-yard touchdown pass in corner of the end zone, again to Lacey. The touchdown put the Thunder up by 2 scores with 7:28 to go in the first half. A margin they held through to halftime.
The Thunder would receive the ball to the second half, with KR Duane Brooks returning the kickoff 54-yards for a touchdown, giving Brooks his second game in a row with a kickoff return for a touchdown. The KISS would attempt to respond with a long drive of their own but at the end of the drive, Southwick would fumble the exchange from center at the 3-yard line where Thunder defensive back Okechekwu Okoroha would recover the ball to kill another LA KISS drive. After the turnover the Thunder drove down the field with the catch of the game by Perry, snagging the ball by his fingertips, from Thomas for 35 yards where the drive would conclude with a 1-yard touchdown by John Martinez 5:46 left in third giving the Thunder a 49 to 21 lead.
The KISS would respond with a score of their own with Southwick finally finding Morgan for a touchdown giving Portland a 49 to 27. The KISS would try a 2-point conversion due to the situation that KISS kicker Kenny Spencer left the game with an injury. Laron Scott took over kick duties and attempted an onside kicks for the rest of the game to help get the KISS back into the game. However, the Thunder would recover all the onside kicks, with the first recovery setting up a Thomas to Lacey 10-yard touchdown pass.
In the final frame, the KISS would score two more times and add a two point conversion cutting the Portland lead to 15. After another onside kick recovery by the Thunder, Thomas would hit Lacey for Lacey's fourth touchdown grab of the game. With the addition of the extra point and Lacey's touchdown catch, the Thunder would break the franchise record for points scored in a game. On the final drive of the game, Thunder defenders Marquis Jackson and Frank Trotter would wrap up Southwick for the team's third sack of the quarterback adding to Los Angeles' woes of protecting their quarterback.
The Thunder will go back on the road to Orlando where they will face the 2014 South Division Champion Predators at the Amway Center. Game time is scheduled for 4:00 PM PDT.
Post Game Awards:
Offensive Player- PDX Thunder QB Darron Thomas
Defensive Player- PDX Thunder DB Osagie Odiase
Playmaker of the Game- PDX Thunder WR Duane Brooks
Catch of the Game- PDX Thunder Jared Perry's finger-tip grab for 35 yards
AFL Highlight of the Game- PDX Thunder WR Duane Brooks 54-yard touchdown return
Images from this story
Portland Thunder vs. LA KISS
Portland Thunder Quarterback Darron Thomas
Portland Thunder vs. LA KISS
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Arena Football League Stories from May 17, 2015
- Sharks Topple Soul on Saturday Night - Jacksonville Sharks
- Thunder Heap More Misery on Struggling KISS, Win 63-47 - Portland Thunder
- Rattlers (6-2) Put Away the Outlaws (3-4) 60-41 - Arizona Rattlers
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