Portland Thunder Press Release:
PHILADELPHIA – Thunder receiver Jared Perry hauled in five passes, for 74 yards, and two scores, but that was not enough to keep Portland (2-4, 1-1) from suffering their third successive road loss, falling 52-35 to the Philadelphia Soul (6-0, 1-0) Saturday night in front of 7,011 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
“We’ve gone through the rough part of our schedule,” stated Thunder head coach Mike Hohensee, following the loss. “We have to come back with a sense of urgency, understanding that everyone is accountable for these performances.”
The Thunder head into their first bye week of the 2015 AFL season on the heels of a winless three weeks on the road, which included losses to the 4-1 Arizona Rattlers, the 5-0 San Jose SaberCats, and the now 6-0 Soul.
“I want our guys to enjoy their loved ones, and get their rest, but when we come back, we are going to grind again,” Hohensee continued. “Our guys need to find out whether or not they will be the reason we turn this streak around.”
Portland fell behind by two scores early in the second quarter, and were made to play catch up the rest of the way. Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh hit receivers Shaun Kauleinamoku and Marco Thomas with 32 and 27 yard TD passes respectively, sandwiching a Thunder turnover on downs at the 11:26 mark of the second. Named the J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game, Shaun Kauleinamoku totaled seven catches for 122 yards and four touchdowns on the night.
Philadelphia, who average 59.5 PPG, were held to their lowest point total this season (52). Offense has been the focus for the Soul in 2015 under coach Clint Dolezel, who attempted two onside kicks following Soul scores that provided two touchdown cushions. Both failed, but showed the third year coach’s intent.
The game devolved in a third quarter that saw 11 penalties called between the clubs, and ejections for both Thunder DB Quincy Butler, and Philadelphia receiver Marco Thomas. Portland finished the evening with eight infractions, totaling 60 yards, while Philadelphia committed 15 on the night, for 72 total yards lost.
WR/KR Duane Brooks returned a kickoff from Soul K Tommy Frevert 54 yards to make the score 45-35, and bring the Thunder within 10 points midway through the fourth quarter. Brooks’ return marks the first kickoff returned the length of the field for a touchdown in Thunder history. WR Jamar Howard, currently on injured reserve, returned an onside kick attempt for a score last season.
Thunder quarterback Kyle Rowley completed 17 of his 38 passes for 169 yards and four scores. His counterpart, Raudabaugh, threw for 274 yards and six TD’s from his 22 completions of 38 attempts. WR V’Keon Lacey was stymied in his return to Philadelphia. The former Soul receiver tallied just four catches for 42 yards in his first game against his former club.