Defense Shines, Storm Hold on 35-34

By on June 23, 2014
Storm DB Rod Issac (6) intercepts the ball late in the game, sealing the fate of the Predators. (photo Chuck Green/ Cg Photography)

Storm DB Rod Issac (6) intercepts the ball late in the game, sealing the fate of the Predators. (photo Chuck Green/ Cg Photography)

TAMPA BAY STORM DEFENSE STOPS ORLANDO IN EXCITING AFL CONTEST, 35-34

 (article courtesy of the Tampa Bay Storm)

TAMPA BAY – Quarterback Randy Hippeard led the offense, but it was the Tampa Bay defense that held the Orlando Predators to one second-half touchdown, including none in the third period, as the Storm defeated the Preds, 35-34, Saturday night in an exciting Arena Football League game on the AMALIE Motor Oil Field in the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

 

Known as “The War on I-4,” the Storm (8-6, 4-3) have now won five straight games, a streak they last made in 2010. Orlando (8-6, 6-2) continues to lead the AFL’s American Conference South, and had previously beaten the Storm early in the season.

 

Storm defense was on its game again against the Predators, here Storm DB Jean Fanor (21) and Darian Payne (23) stop Predators WR Thompkins for no gain. (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Storm defense was on its game again against the Predators, here Storm DB Jean Fanor (21) and Darian Payne (23) stop Predators WR Thompkins for no gain. (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Hippeard scored the final touchdown of the game at 3:12 on a three-yard rush, when he dropped back to the seven yard line and faked a pass. It was his third rushing score of the game and fifth total with one pass each to Joe Hills and Amarri Jackson.

 

Hippeard was 25-of-38 for 220 yards and Hills had 10 catches for 81 yards to lead the Storm. Greg Carr had a game-high 129 yards on 10 catches with two touchdowns. Predators’ quarterback Bernard Morris was 18-of-28 for 194 yards and four touchdowns.

 

Defensive back Rod Issac intercepted his fourth pass of the season with less than a minute to go.  He ran the ball back to the six yard line with 48 seconds remaining. The Storm then ran the clock out.

 

Great numbers and more importantly a "W" and it was all smiles for Randy Hippeard. (photo by Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Great numbers and more importantly a “W” and it was all smiles for Randy Hippeard. (photo by Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Orlando held a 27-21 halftime lead as the Predators scored with 10 seconds remaining. Morris connected with Kendal Thompkins for 19 yards and the touchdown and Mark Lewis added the extra point.

 

In the third quarter, the Storm’s defense came alive when Harrell collected his second interception of the game and fifth in the last five games.

 

That setup a three-play drive as Hippeard connected with Jackson for a 24 yard strike. Juan Bongarra kicked the extra point and the Storm led, 28-27.

 

Orlando was stopped again when Morris was sacked by lineman Jammie Kirlew for nine yards. Morris fumbled and lineman Uriah Grant recovered on the Preds’ 23-yard line.

 

Storm DB James Harrell comes up with a drive ending interception and swings the momentum back to the home team. Harrell ended the night with 2 picks to his credit. (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Storm DB James Harrell comes up with a drive ending interception and swings the momentum back to the home team. Harrell ended the night with 2 picks to his credit.
(photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

UP NEXT – The Tampa Bay Storm will head to Cleveland to take on the Gladiators at Quicken Loans Arena on Friday, June 27.  Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. EST.

 

Predators  Tanner Verner (20) and Anthony Shutt (6) combine to stop Michael Lindsey (10) after a nice catch and run. (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Predators Tanner Verner (20) and Anthony Shutt (6) combine to stop Michael Lindsey (10) after a nice catch and run. (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

1st        2nd       3rd      4th     Final

Orlando Predators          13         14         0         7       34

Tampa Bay Storm          7          14         7         7       35

           

1st Quarter

ORL – Greg Carr 18 pass from Bernard Morris (kick failed) 9:19

TAM – Randy Hippeard 2 run (Juan Bongarra kick) 5:59.

ORL – Bernard Morris 3 run (Mark Lewis kick) 1:03.

 

2nd Quarter

TAM – Hippeard 1 run (Bongarra kick) 10:27.

ORL – Carr 35 pass from Morris (Lewis kick) 7:04.

TAM –Joe Hills 5 pass from Hippeard (Bongarra kick) 2:54.

ORL – Kendal Thompkins 19 pass from Morris (Lewis kick) 00:10.

 

3rd Quarter

TAM – Amarri Jackson 24 pass from Hippeard (Bongarra kick) 10:54.

 

4th Quarter

ORL – Thompkins 2 pass from Morris (Lewis kick) 8:59.

TAM – Hippeard 3 run (Bongarra kick) 3:12.

 

RB Dexter Jackson fires up the crowd during introductions.

RB Dexter Jackson fires up the crowd during introductions.

Statistical Leaders:

                                                           

Passing (C-A-INT-Yds-TD)

ORL – Bernard Morris 18-28-3-194-4.

TAM – Randy Hippeard 25-38-1-220-2.

 

Rushing: (Att-Yds-TD)

ORL – Bernard Morris 6-41-1.

TAM – Randy Hippeard 9-20-3, Byron Isom 1-2-0, Dexter Jackson 2-(-1)-0.

 

Receiving:  (Rec-Yds-TD)

ORL –  Greg Carr 10-129-2 , Larry Brackins  2-18–0, Kendal Thompkins  6-47-2. 

TAM – T.T. Toliver 5-48-0, Amarri Jackson 6-61-1, Joe Hills 10-81-1, Michael Lindsey 4-30-0.

 

KO Returns: (No.-Yds-TD)

ORL – Gerald Young 3-34-0.

TAM – Michael Lindsey  5-80-0.

 

 

Storm QB Randy Hippeard goes in standing up for his second rushing TD of the night. (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Storm QB Randy Hippeard goes in standing up for his second rushing TD of the night. (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

GAME AWARD WINNERS

 

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Greg Carr, Orlando.

Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: James Harrell, Tampa Bay.

J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: Michael Lindsey, Tampa Bay.

Cutter Catch of the Game: Amarri Jackson, Tampa Bay, 10:54 in 3rd quarter.

AFL Highlight of the Game: Orlando fumble recovery on goaline in 4th quarter by Orlando’s Eddie Moten.

Randy Hippeard busts over the goal line: PAY DIRT STORM! (photo Scott Audette / Tampa Bay Storm)

Randy Hippeard busts over the goal line: PAY DIRT STORM! (photo Scott Audette / Tampa Bay Storm)

Amarri Jackson (11) after hauling in pass from Storm QB Randy Hippeard. (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Amarri Jackson (11) after hauling in pass from Storm QB Randy Hippeard. (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Randy Hippeard and Joe Hills congratulate each other on a Storm TD. (photo Chuck Grenn / Cg Photography)

Randy Hippeard and Joe Hills congratulate each other on a Storm TD. (photo Chuck Grenn / Cg Photography)

Randy Hippeard and Joe Hills congratulate each other on a Storm TD. (photo Chuck Grenn / Cg Photography)

Randy Hippeard and Joe Hills congratulate each other on a Storm TD. (photo Chuck Grenn / Cg Photography)

It must seem like a long way from Jefferson High for Steven Garcia (phot Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

It must seem like a long way from Jefferson High for Steven Garcia (phot Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Amarri Jackson (11) lends a helping hand to his QB Randy Hippeard (17) after Hippeard scored the game winner from three yards out. (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Amarri Jackson (11) lends a helping hand to his QB Randy Hippeard (17) after Hippeard scored the game winner from three yards out.
(photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Joe Hills (2) puts another 6 points on the board. His 27th TD of the season. (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Joe Hills (2) puts another 6 points on the board. His 27th TD of the season. (photo Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

 

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