Win is a First for KISS

Adrian McPherson returns to the Kiss and guides them to the 52-40 win.

Adrian McPherson returns to the Kiss and guides them to the 52-40 win.

By Tim Peterson

(Anaheim) – Adrian McPherson returned from an injury to throw five touchdown passes and 240 yards without an interception to lead the LA KISS to a 52-40 win over Portland Sunday before 7, 345 at Honda Center.

It was the first win of the year for the KISS after nine straight losses. The Thunder dropped to 3-7.

Donovan “Captain” Morgan caught three of those touchdown passes, including a 37-yarder in the first quarter to get the KISS even at seven. He also hauled in 31-yard touchdown pass in the third to give the KISS a 19 point lead. Morgan had seven receptions overall for 98 yards.

DeMarco Sampson gets the score from one yard out.

DeMarco Sampson gets the score from one yard out.

“It’s huge having him back. Adrian might be the most annoying guy on the team. He would call me every week and tell me I’m ready to come back but we would tell him to wait,” said KISS Head Coach Bob McMillen. “He just wanted to be on the field.”

Rayshaun Kizer, a recent addition to the KISS, came up big defensively intercepting two passes. The second one came with 5:10 left in the game and it was the dagger. Kizer stepped in front of a Kyle Rowley pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown. The pick six put LA up 20 at 52-32.

“I just read the defense a little bit,” Kizer said. “I saw the quarterback looking that way.”

The KISS led 28-20 at the half behind three McPherson TD passes. Tom Gilson held on to a perfectly thrown 27-yard touchdown pass by McPherson in the corner of the end zone and DeMarco Sampson scored on a one-yard run as the first half clock ran out to put LA up by eight.

Rowley hit Jared Perry for a 13-yard touchdown in the first quarter and Duane Brooks on a 33-yard strike in the second as the Thunder tried to keep pace.

The KISS broke it open in the third quarter as Jeffrey Solomon beat his defender for a 37-yard toss by McPherson and then Morgan’s TD gave LA a three score advantage.

Kizer’s pick iced it in the fourth. The Thunder managed one last murmur of protest when Rowley hit Brooks again on a five -yard touchdown pass to account for the final score.

The key to the KISS win was not turning the ball over.

“When we don’t turn the ball over and then get turnovers it’s huge. This was a very exciting game for the LA KISS. It was a great team win,” McMillen said.

Solomon joined Morgan with a big day catching seven pass for 93 yards and a score.

Rowley finished 22-32 for 233 yards and four touchdowns for Portland. But he was hurt by the two picks. V’Keon Lacy had eight receptions for 101 yards and a TD.

Next up for the KISS is a road trip to San Jose Saturday. The Sabercats are 10-0.

“We’re going to have to play mistake free football to beat San Jose,” McMillen said.

And Morgan added, “Hey, they put on their uniforms the same way we do.”

P 7 13 12 8 40

LA 14 14 17 7 52

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