By Tim Peterson
(Anaheim) – The KISS battled back from a two touchdown deficit early but didn’t have enough late in a 56-48 loss to Philadelphia Saturday Night before 6,122 at Honda Center.
The KISS was already down 49-41 when the Soul recovered an onside kick after a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Marco Thomas then caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Dan Raudabaugh as the Soul capitalized to go up 56-41 with 4:33 left in the contest. That was all she wrote.
“We were expecting it. In fact we told them watch for the onside kick just before it happened,” said KISS Head Coach Bob McMillen. “But I think Philadelphia just executed it well. They had a 6’6″ go up to get it and the kicker made a great kick.”
Philadelphia scored first on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Raudabaugh to Harvey Binford. The KISS answered with a 37-yard TD strike from Danny Southwick to DeMarco Sampson. Sampson turned a short gain into a touchdown by eluding several defenders and breaking off the long run.
On the next possession Ryan McDaniel hauled in a 12-yard TD pass from Raudabaugh to put the Soul up seven. Ken Richardson then stepped in front of a Southwick pass and returned it 46 yards to the house. the pick six put the Soul up 21-7.
The KISS responded however to get even at the half. Donovan “Captain” Morgan hauled in a touchdown in the corner. After a huge goal line stand by the KISS, Southwick threw a pass that is almost intercepted but instead is caught by Morgan who raced 42 yards for six.
Raudabaugh hits Lonnie Outlaw in the corner of the end zone as he beats Laron Scott for a seven point Philly advantage.
On the next KISS possession offensive lineman Anthony Parker juggled and then holds on to a Southwick toss over the middle and rumbled in for the five-yard score to tie it at 28 at the half.
The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter. Philadelphia scored twice on a Tommy Taggart run and a TD pass from Raudabaugh to Marco Thomas. The KISS’ Josh Victorian intercepted a pass in his own end zone and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown, but the extra point attempt was botched. Morgan caught his third touchdown pass of the night – a 33-yard connection. The Soul led 42-41 after three.
The KISS is stopped on downs early in the fourth quarter and the Soul took advantage when Raudabaugh hits Thomas on a two-yard TD pass for a 49-41 Philadelphia lead.
Then came the onside kick recovery that proved to be the dagger for the KISS.
Morgan caught his fourth touchdown of the night for the KISS to cut the Soul lead to 56-48 with 42 seconds left but it was too little too late.
“I’m proud of the guys in that locker room. I thought they battled until the end,” McMillen added.
“We’re never happy when we lose but I’m happy with the way we battled,” said Victorian. “We’ll just get ready for Arizona next week.”
Southwick completed 18-33 for 241 yards and six touchdowns and the interception. Morgan had six receptions for 107 yards and four scores.
Raudabaugh also threw for six scores and 268 yards on 19-30.
The KISS fell to 2-10 with the loss while Philadelphia improved to 11-2.