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Power rock, roll all night against LA KISS

Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Power linebacker James Bryant sacks LA KISS quarterback Aaron Garcia, causing a fumble during the first quarter Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sidney Davis  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Power linebacker James Bryant sacks LA KISS quarterback Aaron Garcia, causing a fumble during the first quarter Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Power defensive back Virgil Gray returns an interception the length of the field for a touchdown against the LA KISS on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sidney Davis  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Power defensive back Virgil Gray returns an interception the length of the field for a touchdown against the LA KISS on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - The Power's Virgil Gray (4) defends a pass intended for the Kiss' Donavan Morgan on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sidney Davis  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Power's Virgil Gray (4) defends a pass intended for the Kiss' Donavan Morgan on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - The Power's Shaun Kauleinamoku (3) and jumps for joy as his teammates celebrates his touchdown catch against the LA KISS on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sidney Davis  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Power's Shaun Kauleinamoku (3) and jumps for joy as his teammates celebrates his touchdown catch against the LA KISS on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - The Power's Anthony Hoke celebrates after recovering a fumble for a touchdown against the LA KISS on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sidney Davis  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Power's Anthony Hoke celebrates after recovering a fumble for a touchdown against the LA KISS on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Power defensive back Al Phillips intercepts a pass against the LA KISS on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sidney Davis  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Power defensive back Al Phillips intercepts a pass against the LA KISS on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Power receiver James Shaw picks up yardage after a catch as LA KISS defensive back Romeo Pellum moves in for the tackle Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sidney Davis  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Power receiver James Shaw picks up yardage after a catch as LA KISS defensive back Romeo Pellum moves in for the tackle Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Power receiver Tyrone Goard is ruled out of bounds on this catch against LA KISS defensive back Romeo Pellum on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sidney Davis  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Power receiver Tyrone Goard is ruled out of bounds on this catch against LA KISS defensive back Romeo Pellum on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Power fans cheer on the team against the LA KISS on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sidney Davis  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Power fans cheer on the team against the LA KISS on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - The Power's Arvell Nelson hits LA KISS quarterback Aaron Garcia for a loss Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sidney Davis  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Power's Arvell Nelson hits LA KISS quarterback Aaron Garcia for a loss Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review - Power receiver Shaun Kauleinamoku tries to leap past LA KISS defenders for extra yards after a catch and gets the first down Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sidney Davis  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Power receiver Shaun Kauleinamoku tries to leap past LA KISS defenders for extra yards after a catch and gets the first down Saturday, May 17, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014, 9:09 p.m.
 

Power linebacker James Bryant walked to the podium after his team's 50-26 victory against the LA KISS on Saturday night at Consol Energy Center, looking like he had been in a fight. Or, maybe he just wanted one.

He wore a mask that covered most of his face, but insisted he wasn't injured. In fact, he spoke the brash words of a winner, declaring that the Power's defense is the best in the Arena Football League.

“Darn right,” he said when asked the question. “Absolutely. This is the best defense I've played on since high school.”

Bryant launched the Power's third consecutive victory by putting a hurting on 43-year-old KISS quarterback Aaron Garcia with a sack near the goal line on the game's first snap. The ball was jarred loose and defensive end Anthony Hoke secured it in the end zone for a touchdown.

Then, on the next LA series, Bryant hit Garcia long after he released a pass. The penalty cost the Power 10 yards, but Garcia didn't appear to enjoy either hit. For the next two series, he was out of rhythm with his receivers, misfiring on seven of nine attempts. That led to a 21-0 Power lead by the end of the first quarter when quarterback Tommy Grady threw 19- and 11-yard touchdown passes to Hank Edwards and Shaun Kauleinamoku.

After that, the KISS never even remotely threatened while the Power improved to 6-3, their best record halfway through the season in four years of the franchise's existence.

The sack of Garcia — the first of three — was perfectly conceived, with Bryant sprinting untouched into the backfield.

“If I can get a clean look on anybody, it might be lights out,” he said.

When asked if he thought he set a tone for the game with the strip sack of Garcia, he said with authority, “I don't think. I know.”

The defense recorded four fourth-down stops and four turnovers, including three interceptions.

The team wasn't happy with its effort in the past four weeks, winning two and losing two, and Bryant said he won't accept similar performances the rest of the season.

“We are not playing around with these guys anymore,” he said. “We are coming for everybody.”

The Power punctuated the victory when Hoke intercepted a pass on a conversion attempt in the fourth quarter. He started back-pedaling 15 yards from the goal line before running laterally, and finally was forced to dive into the end zone for the two points after the KISS defense finally caught up with him.

Coach Ron James said he doesn't want Hoke showboating, but players are coached to slow down in breakaway situations late in the game to kill the clock.

“That's not the way we want to do it,” James said, “but it's part of our game management.”

The Power put on show for the CBS Sports Network national audience and a season-high home crowd of 7,762, with Brandon Freeman risking a fine by kicking the ball into the stands after intercepting a pass.

“National TV brings out the character in our characters,” James said.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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