Category Archives: Press Releases

Thunder Inconsistent, Lose to KISS 52-40

ANAHEIM – Thunder WR/KR Duane Brooks returned two consecutive third quarter kickoffs for touchdowns, and added two more scores receiving, but his input was not enough to help Portland overcome a number of unforced errors, as they fell to the LA KISS in front of 7,345 fans at the Honda Center Sunday afternoon in Anaheim.

The win for the KISS (1-9, 0-4) is their first of the 2015 AFL season, and their first over the Thunder (3-7, 1-2) in their last four tries.

“We have got to talk about the things that we need to do better,” Head Coach Mike Hohensee said following the loss. “You can’t jump offside on 4th down. You can’t drop interceptions.”

The Thunder were penalized 13 times, for 141 yards in the loss, including three defensive penalties in 3rd or 4th-and-Long situations, extending KISS drives that were eventually converted for scores.

“The majority of those were on defense,” Hohensee added, in regards to the penalties. “We’d get a sack, but take a penalty. That stuff takes the ball out of our hands. It seemed to happen over and over again. We have to play smarter than that.”

Brooks returned five kicks for 198 yards, averaging 39.6 yards per return, while breaking two returns for scores, the first a 57-yarder at the 6:03 mark of the 3rd Quarter, and the second, a 58-yarder just over three minutes later.

“I can only attribute these (runbacks) to the guys in front of me,” Brooks stated. “I let my eyes guide my feet, and I take what our blocking gives me. After that, I just try to make guys miss, and get in the end-zone.”

Duane added five receptions for 54 yards, totaling a game high of 252 yards, all-purpose.

A one yard touchdown rush in the dying seconds of the first half from KISS receiver DeMarco Sampson proved the only difference between the sides through the first two frames. The KISS, receiving the second half kick, were stymied by the Thunder defense, forcing Los Angeles to settle for a FG on their first possession of third.

Portland was unable to score on its next possession, turning the ball over on downs following a failed pitch out to FB John Martinez on a 4th-and-2 play, providing the KISS with an opportunity to balloon their lead to three scores. Los Angeles did just that one play later, as KISS QB Adrian McPherson hit former Thunder receiver Jeffrey Solomon for a 37 yard touchdown, providing a 18 point cushion that Portland would not be able to overcome.

McPherson threw 5 touchdowns on his return from injury, including three to WR Donovan Morgan. The former Florida State standout ended the evening completing 18 of his 33 passes, for 240 yards. Morgan caught seven balls from McPherson, totaling 98 yards.

Portland QB Kyle Rowley was given the start over back-up Alex Carder, despite being substituted for Carder midway through the third quarter of the Thunder’s loss to San Jose last week. Rowley finished the game 22 of 32 passing, for 233 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions.

The Thunder return home to the Moda Center this Friday, June 12th, as they take on the 3-Time Defending ArenaBowl Champion Arizona Rattlers. Kickoff is set for 7pm.


V’Keon Lacey Earns Catch of the Week Honors

CHICAGO – San Jose SaberCats wide receiver Reggie Gray has been awarded Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week, while Tampa Bay Storm defensive back James Harrell has been awarded Riddell Defensive Player of the Week, and Philadelphia Soul wide receiver Marco Thomas has been awarded J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week for Week 10 of the 2015 Arena Football League season. The Cutters Catch of the Week has been awarded to Portland Thunder wide receiver V’Keon Lacey, while the AFL Highlight of the Week has been awarded to Philadelphia Soul defensive back Kent Richardson.

Lacey (6-4, 220, Angelo State) made a spectacular one-handed touchdown catch between two SaberCat defenders in the fourth quarter of Portland’s 42-61 loss to San Jose in Week 10. The third-year wideout led the Thunder with five receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown in the game. He will receive a Cutters hat and shirt in recognition of the catch. The catch was also featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10.

For the rest of the release, visit the Arena Football League website.

Darron Thomas’ 2015 season cut short

PORTLAND – The Portland Thunder have placed quarterback Darron Thomas on injured reserve and will miss the remainder of the 2015 AFL season with a lower leg injury.

Thomas sustained the injury near the 6:00 minute mark of the second quarter in the Thunder’s 69-43 loss to the Orlando Predators last Saturday.

“Darron has been an integral part of the Thunder organization from Day 1,” stated owner Terry Emmert. “We wish him a speedy recovery, and look forward to seeing him back healthy.”

“It is a shame,” explained head coach Mike Hohensee. “He was just becoming the quarterback he wanted to be in this league. I know that if this team was looking for something to play for, this would be a good place to start. I hope I get another opportunity to coach Darron Thomas.”

In his three appearances this season, Thomas completed 38 of his 58 attempts, for 374 yards and 11 touchdowns. Thomas also carried eight times, for 11 yards, and an additional score.

Thunder QB Thomas Named AFL Offensive Player of the Week

CHICAGO – Portland Thunder quarterback Darron Thomas has been awarded Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week, while San Jose SaberCats defensive back Ken Fontenette has been awarded Riddell Defensive Player of the Week and Cleveland Gladiators wide receiver Amarri Jackson has been awarded J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week for Week 8 of the 2015 Arena Football League season. In addition to these awards, the AFL is also awarding the Cutters Catch of the Week and AFL Highlight of the Week. The Cutters Catch of the Week has been awarded to Arizona Rattlers wide receiver Rod Windsor, while the AFL Highlight of the Week has been awarded to Orlando Predators Jack linebacker Terence Moore.

Thomas (6-2, 215, Oregon) looked outstanding in his first start of 2015, guiding the Thunder to a franchise-second-best 63 points in the team’s 63-47 win over the LA KISS in Week 8. Thomas accounted for seven total touchdowns in the game, passing for a career-high six scores to go along with one touchdown on the ground.

The Arena Football League is also awarding the MVP of the Week, where fans are given the opportunity to select the winner. Candidates include Orlando Predators quarterback Bernard Morris, Portland Thunder quarterback Darron Thomas, and San Jose SaberCats quarterback Nathan Stanley. Fans will have 24 hours to vote on beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 20. The winner will be announced on Thursday, May 21.

For the full release, click here.

Portland Thunder Press Release: Thunder vs KISS Preview

PORTLAND – The Portland Thunder (2-4, 1-1 in Pacific) return to the Moda Center for the first time in nearly one month, to take on the winless LA KISS (0-7, 0-3 in West) on Saturday, May 16th. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm. Fans can listen on 750AM THE GAME/102.9FM starting at 6:30pm, and watch live on CSNNW, ESPN 3, or the app.

Due for some home cooking, the Thunder look to this weekend’s match-up against their expansion rival to shake their current three game losing streak. The Thunder played each of their last three games on the road, prior to last week’s bye. Losses to 5-2 Arizona, 7-0 San Jose, and 7-0 Philadelphia cannot be categorized as failures, but in head coach Mike Hohensee’s eyes, Portland should have shown better. Continue reading Portland Thunder Press Release: Thunder vs KISS Preview

Thunder Can’t Stop Soul; Fall 52-35

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.

“Sons of Thunder” coming to April 30

From the press release:

Sons of Thunder is a reality sports documentary series following the rigorous process of building a professional sports franchise from the ground up, airing now on Ora.TV. The show tells the story of Portland, Oregon’s fledgling Arena Football League team, the Thunder, and their journey to the first kick off of their inaugural season. You will see, hear, and feel the grind, the politics, and the lifestyle of these elite athletes through the eyes and ears of each of their personal trials and triumphs, up to and including game day.

All eight episodes of SONS OF THUNDER will be available to stream free, anytime, anywhere on Ora.TV on April 30.

You can watch Episode 7 right now at this link.