LOS ANGELES (May 17, 2014) – A near-flawless performance from Pittsburgh quarterback Tommy Grady and two costly turnovers proved to be too much to overcome for the LA KISS on Saturday evening, as Los Angeles (2-7) fell to the Pittsburgh Power (6-3) by a score of 50-26.
Grady finished 27 of 37 passing for 202 yards and five touchdowns, while Anthony Hoke and Virgil Gray each contributed a first half defensive score to spoil Aaron Garcia’s first game as the KISS starting quarterback. Garcia would finish 24 of 48 for 252 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions.
LA’s slow first half start was ultimately the game’s difference maker. The first play from scrimmage seemed to be an omen of what was to come when James Grant sacked Garcia, causing a loose ball that was scooped up by Hoke and returned for a score to put the Power up 7-0. Two consecutive KISS turnovers on downs then led to Pittsburgh extending its lead. Grady hooked up with Hank Edwards on a 19-yard touchdown completion before finding Shawn Kauleinamoku from 11 yards out to put the Power ahead 21-0.
The second quarter looked promising as the KISS forced a defensive stop and Garcia led LA deep into Pittsburgh territory on the ensuing possession. But a pass by Garcia was intercepted near the end zone and returned 50 yards for the score by Gray. LA would bounce back on its next series, as Garcia’s 19-yard strike to Maurice Williams gave the KISS its first points of the evening and narrowed the gap to 28-6. The second quarter would end with Grady and Garcia alternating touchdown passes to close the half with Pittsburgh on top, 35-13.
LA received a spark when J.C. Neal intercepted Grady’s pass on the third play of the second half, but a turnover on downs gave the ball back to Pittsburgh, who took advantage of the opportunity with a six-yard touchdown reception by Tyrone Goard to extend the lead to 42-13.
The KISS tried to creep back into the game in the fourth quarter when Garcia found Williams in the end zone for the third time, but an interception on the two-point conversion attempt by Hoke was returned for two points and a 44-19 Pittsburgh advantage. After a failed onside kick attempt, the Power increased their lead with Grady’s third passing score to Edwards. Though LA added a late scoring reception by Raymond Radway, Pittsburgh cruised to a 50-26 victory.
Next week, Los Angeles returns home to face the Arizona Rattlers on May 25 in Week 11 of the 2014 AFL Season. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.