The Los Angeles KISS came into this season with high hopes, after they drastically improved their roster in the offseason. Los Angeles was coming off of a disappointing 4-14 season the year before, and they were hungry for a breakout season. LA set themselves up for success in the offseason, when they hired a new head coach and brought in a new quarterback with loads of experience. Los Angeles hired Omarr Smith to replace Bob McMillen and become the second head coach in KISS franchise history.
Smith came in with quite the resume, as he was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame before the coming over to Los Angeles to coach the KISS. Smith left the San Jose SaberCats, and he brought quarterback Nathan Stanley over with him. Stanley was the proven quarterback that the KISS had been searching for ever since they became a part of the Arena Football League. The KISS had a chance to make a statement to the league that they were for real in their opening game, when they took on the Jacksonville Sharks, who lost in the ArenaBowl in 2015.
Los Angeles stifled Jacksonville and quarterback Tommy Grady, as they defeated the Sharks 64-39. The KISS were brought back down to Earth in their second game of the season, when the Arizona Rattlers came to the Honda Center. Arizona mutilated the KISS 69-28, as Nick Davila absolutely shredded the KISS defense. The KISS would go on to win two of their next four games, and pretty much every one of those games came with a positive result. LA came so close to defeating the Orlando Predators at the Amway Center, but they ended up losing 43-41.
In their next road game against Arizona, disaster struck the KISS. Nathan Stanley was hit hard against the boards, and he was ultimately placed on the IR. With Stanley sidelined for many weeks, Pete Thomas was thrust into the starting role.
The KISS hit a rough patch in the middle of the season, as they wound losing three of four games, with the one win coming against the lowly Portland Steel. LA bounced back by blowing out the Tampa Bay Storm twice, as they held the worst team in the league to under 30 points in both games.
LA didn’t finish strong, as they finished the season with back-to-back losses to the Jacksonville Sharks and the Steel. They finished with a 7-9 record, which was the best record in franchise history. The KISS were set to host the Cleveland Gladiators in the opening round of the playoffs.
LA had the lead late in the game, but they let the lead slip away. After allowing an Arvell Nelson touchdown, the ball bounced off the net, which turned into a Gladiators touchdown. LA would end up losing 56-52.
Despite the disappointing loss, the KISS are coming off their best season in franchise history, which is definitely a bright spot.
Pete Thomas was impressive in his first season, as he threw for 2,086 yards and 43 touchdowns. Nathan Stanley wound up having very similar statistics, as he threw for 2,057 yards and 41 touchdowns. Donovan Morgan was the top target for both quarterbacks, as he performed at his highest level in his final season.
Morgan caught 113 passes for 1,462 yards and 41 touchdowns. Fredrick Obi was the heart and soul of the defense, as he led the team in tackles (91.5), and in interceptions (5). LA will look to build off of what they accomplished this season when they take the field next year.