Tag Archives: Darron Thomas

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.


Game Preview: Portland Thunder (3-4) at Orlando Predators (4-4)

The Portland Thunder, fresh off a win against the Los Angeles KISS, head to Orlando in search of their first road win of the season on Saturday, May 23.

The Thunder are 3-0 against the worst two scoring defenses in the league, and 0-4 against the rest of their schedule…which happens to have contained the top four defenses in the league. The Predators are the third-worst scoring defense in the league, if you’re looking for signs that point to a Thunder win.

Wrong Way Sports' Game Day Breakdown, Thunder (3-4) vs. Predators (4-4). Orlando has an offensive advantage in everything but turnovers; Portland has a defensive advantage in everything but Drive Success Rate. Look out for Duane Brooks, who has two consecutive games with kick return touchdowns.

Continue reading Game Preview: Portland Thunder (3-4) at Orlando Predators (4-4)

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 ArenaFootball.com 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.

Thunder Rain All Over KISS, 63-47

The Portland Thunder annihilated the Los Angeles KISS on Saturday night, 63-47, behind a great performance from Darron Thomas. Of course, last week, Shock QB Warren Smith lit up the KISS, only to be on the receiving end of an 83-28 beatdown to San Jose this week, so we’ll have to wait another week to actually evaluate Thomas.

Since the game wasn’t memorable despite two kick returns for touchdowns and a bar ball recovery, and all I could think of were ways to discuss the KISS’ performances this season, here are my in-game and post-game thoughts.

  • The KISS are the team you’d schedule for homecoming.
  • Games with the KISS involved are as competitive as that Romney/Holyfield boxing match would’ve been if it had been a real fight.
  • The KISS offense makes opposing defenses look like the Russian army in the winter – no matter who’s leading them, they’re not getting through.
  • The KISS defense makes any opposing QB look like they’re stealing defensive signals.

Continue reading Thunder Rain All Over KISS, 63-47

Game Preview: Thunder vs. KISS

These teams epitomize the old maxim: The best kind of ability is availability. Unfortunately, they’re displaying its validity through their struggles with consistency due to injuries.

The Thunder (2-4) are coming off a bye, which fortuitously arrived after a brutal three-game stretch where they played consecutive road games against the three-time defending champions and both of the league’s currently undefeated teams. With a week of rest, they’ll look to topple the team who they beat to start the season, the Los Angeles KISS (0-7). After playing the Thunder close in Week 1, the KISS have been punching bags for the rest of the league, their smallest margin of defeat being 13 points.

Game Day Breakdown, Portland Thunder vs. LA KISS. Thunder 246.7 yards/game; KISS 265.3. Thunder 44 points/game; KISS 36.1. Thunder 12 turnovers; KISS 14. Thunder defense is surrendering 291.7 yards/game; KISS 268.9. Thunder surrendering 52.5 points/game; KISS 57.6. Thunder have forced 9 turnovers; KISS 5. Watch out for Darron Thomas, making his first start since the final game of 2014. Continue reading Game Preview: Thunder vs. KISS

Photos: Portland Thunder 47, Spokane Shock 43

Jamar Howard’s Offseason Workout Plan

While wide receivers Eric Rogers (now in the CFL) and Douglas McNeil (now in the NFL) got the attention that comes with all the touchdowns last year, Jamar Howard was performing at a level rivaling them by the end of the 2014 season.

With those two gone to begin the season in 2015, Howard is now getting those end zone opportunities and putting up putting up numbers that compare favorably to last year’s top performers.

2014, Final 5 games Howard McNeil Other WRs combined
Receptions 39 40 42
Yards 558 443 412
TD 5 15 5

He also put in the work in the offseason to get himself ready to be the No. 1 receiver.

“My offseason was critical. I got in the best shape of my life, I lost 25 pounds – I just know my mind’s set on my ultimate goal, said Howard. “I worked my ass off to get to this point.”

Thunder Head Coach Mike Hohensee agreed: “He came in in tremendous shape. He really reinvented himself in the offseason; he wanted to be the guy we went to, and at this point, he is.”

The program was simple, consisting of a few simple steps:

  • Hit the weights. Howard had never considered that a priority before this offseason, and now he’s spending time in the weight room, shedding calories and maintaining muscle mass he’s gained.
  • Keep on schedule. Gone are the days where he’d be up late at night and make a run to McDonald’s or other fast food locations. Now he doesn’t eat after 10 p.m. and works on five smaller meals per day. He’ll have a cheat day here and there, but he’s “working out so much it doesn’t really matter.”
  • Cut the sweets. He also stopped eating candy and drinking soda. “I love drinking water now,” Howard said.
  • Run. From running routes while working out with quarterbacks Darron Thomas and Kyle Rowley to just plain running to build up cardiovascular endurance, he credits running with helping to keep him a step ahead of defenders, especially late in the game.

In addition to having the opportunity to “become unstoppable,” as Hohensee says, both Howard and Coach Hohensee have the same goal for Howard this season.

“I want him to be a champion,” said Hohensee. “I think he’s taken that to heart. Besides being a great receiver, he’s taken a leadership role. A lot of different issues have happened on and off the field with the team, ownership, whatever it is – he’s done a great job handling that. It’s a shame he’s not one of the captains, because he’s one of the guys that’s acting like one.”

For now, performing like a champion includes pushing himself harder than he’s ever pushed in practice, something that he sees his teammates doing along with him.

“I’m pushing myself in practice. I’m practicing a lot harder. I think we all do – we compete,” said Howard. “At practice, the defense doesn’t like us and we don’t like them. But when it comes time for the game, we’re all like brothers. We love each other.”

Howard leads the team with 114 yards receiving and three touchdowns after a star turn against the Los Angeles KISS. He also earned Highlight of the Week honors after catching a pass that sent him flipping over the wall in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. He’ll take the field hoping to exceed even that performance this Friday against the Tampa Bay Storm.