Anaheim, Ca-LA KISS (0-3) dropped their home opener to the Las Vegas Outlaws (2-1), losing 61-48. The game was a shootout but penalties and missed opportunities was the difference tonight.
For the KISS’ first game you could not write a better storyline than with your last two quarterbacks coming back as opposing team head coach Aaron Garcia and starting quarterback JJ Raterink. The students outdid their teacher Bob McMillen, head coach of LA KISS.
The KISS fans were entertained by the team on both sides of the ball. Adrian McPherson settled into flow of the game late in first quarter. McPherson completed 50 percent of his passes for 194 yards and seven touchdowns (3 passing, 4 rushing). His favorite target was Donovan Morgan, who accounted for six catches, 112 yards with 2 TDs.
Raterink showed the old fans that all he needed last year was a line and few more seconds in the pocket. Behind his new line, Raterink amassed 9 touchdowns, 294 yards and completed 64 percent of his passes. Three different Outlaw receivers had at least six catches. Jomo Wilson led the way with four receiving touchdowns.
At halftime the KISS fans were pumped up with their team only trailing by single score 27-21. Then Morgan struck first with a 13-yard touchdown reception on opening drive to take one-point lead, 28-27. But then the was first of many special team mistakes. The KISS decided to kick an onside kick that was recovered by the Outlaws and gave them a short field. Then special teams had two more crucial mistakes with problems on the kickoff returns. New return man, Marcus Trice, gave up two turnovers by fumble and mishandling the ball off the net.
The KISS were almost able to overcome their short coming behind McPherson’s legs late in game keep his team close with back to back rushing touchdowns taking what the Outlaws defense was giving him. The team’s last taste of the endzone was with 6:40 left on fourth quarter to bring the game to 54-48 deficit. The Outlaws put one more score on board to make sure they secured the win for the visiting team.
The KISS will again be on the road next week as they travel to Orlando to take on the Predators on April 18. They return home on April 25 to take on the Arena Bowl Champions Arizona Rattlers.
Jevone Moore a writer, photographer by trade and a coach in life at heart. Former UCLA Bruin football player during the good years, City Champs 92-95.