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LA KISS Defeats Portland 69-61 and gets third win of season

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The Los Angeles KISS (3-9) was back on the right side of the scoreboard and broke an eight game losing streak by defeating the visiting Portland Thunder (3-10) Saturday evening, 69-61.

The game started off on a fantastic note when within seconds of the opening kick, LA KISS quarterback Aaron Garcia threw to receiver Raymond Radway for 34 yards, putting the home team deep in the redzone and just vshy of a touchdown. But, it did not take the team long before they crossed the endzone for the first score of the game.

The star for the KISS has been reciver Donovan Morgan and he did not disappoint as he pulled down a 5-yard pass with one hand to take an early lead against the Thunder. If the bright lights and a crowed that was on it's feet could not be happier. But, KISS defense became the stars, when on the next series, a fumble by Thunder quarterback Kyle Rowley was recovered by KISS defensive back Matt Estrada for a touchdown, increasing the KISS lead to 14-0 with a little over 10 minutes left in play.

The Thunder responded as Rowley hit receiver Alvance Robinson for a 34-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 14-7. A 2-yard rush by KISS backup QB Kenny Guiton (4:08) and another quick pass from Rowley to Robinson (1:18) brought the score to 21-13 at the end of the first quarter (kick failed).That defensive play by Estrada pretty much keept the team in the game.

Coming out strong in the second quarter, KISS managed back-to-back touchdowns on another Garcia-to-Morgan connection and a fumble recovery by linebacker Beau Bell on the ensuing kickoff. The Thunder responded with three scores of their own, including a 7-yard pass from Rowley to wide receiver Braylon Bell (9:13) and a 3-yard interception return and touchdown by defensive back Bryce Peila (7:40), and a late, 3-yard run by backup quarterback Darron Thomas, which brought the score to 35-33 (:06). However, the KISS fired back just before the end of the half with a 36-yard pass from Garcia to receiver Samora Goodson. Los Angeles lead 42-33 at half.

The second half of what had become a battle to the finish started slowly, until Portland’s Rowley found receiver Eric Rogers on an 8-yard scoring connection, closing the gap on Los Angeles’s lead. Nevertheless, a touchdown combo from Garcia to Morgan followed by kicker Kenny Spencer’s sixth completed field goal reestablished the lead with less than six minutes to play in the 3rd (5:44).

KISS was able to seal the deal in the 4th quarter with an early Garcia-to-Goodson connection (20 yards at 13:06) and two Estrada rushing touchdowns (1 yard and 6 yards, respectively). KISS went out with a bang when defensive back A.J. Cruz collided with Thunder receiver Jeffrey Solomon. Rowley managed another late score with 11 seconds left on a quick pass to Rogers (8 yards). A completed 2-point conversion ended things at 69-61, in favor of KISS. But, it was a game that was saved not just by Garcia and Morgan, but by a defensive line that has not looked this good all season.

Next week Los Angeles is on the road and will look to take on the undefeated Arizona Rattlers on June 21 and hopefully the same team that played some amazing football will return. The team, returns to Los Angeles on the 28th when Spokane Shock returns.

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