Second-half Aftershock Leads to Storm’s Third Straight Loss

By on April 28, 2014

   By Missy Zielinski, Tampa Bay Storm 

 

Storm receiver Amarri Jackson is brought down by three Shock defenders (photo by Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

 

TAMPA, FLA. – Michael Lindsey’s record-setting night was spoiled by the Spokane Shock, as they defeated the Tampa Bay Storm 53-41 Saturday in front of a crowd of 9,448 at Amalie Motor Oil Field at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

 

Lindsey entered the game just 34 yards shy of George LaFrance’s record mark of 5,116 return yards. Before the end of the first half, Lindsey surpassed LaFrance to become the new all-time leader.

 

Record Setter: Tampa Bay kick returner Michael Lindsey set the franchise career record for kickoff return yards surpassing AFL Hall of Famer and Storm great George LaFrance total of 5,116. Lindsey currently has 5,138. Above, the not one deminsional Lindsey grabs a 46 yard TD pass in the second quarter. (photo by Scott Audette / Tampa Bay Storm)

“I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” Lindsey said. “This is really an honor. I work hard and when you work hard great things happen and I’m very thankful for whoever has been in front of me making blocks, I appreciate it a lot.”

 

Head coach Lawrence Samuels also did not hesitate to compliment Lindsey for his work ethic, calling him one of the “bright spots of the evening.”

 

“Mike comes to work every day,” Samuels said. “I’m proud of him. He does his job, knows his role and he does it well. It’s a credit to Mike.”

 

Despite the historic feat for Lindsey however, the rest of Tampa Bay faltered from the plan to play well in all three phases of their game (offense, defense and special teams) in the second half after doing just that in the first two quarters.

 

Coach Samuels talks with WR T.T. Toliver prior to the start of the game, rumor was they were talking about how good the wings in the nearby Hooters Owl Nest smelled. (photo by Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

“In the second half we had some people not believing,” Samuels said. “Being a young team when things go badly for you, we need to dig deeper. As a coaching staff we’ll address that next week and get our team on the right foot.”

 

Tampa Bay’s third dropped decision in as many weeks is their longest losing streak since losing eight straight at the end of the 2013 season.

The Storm started the night by scoring on a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter that gave them a 13-7 edge against the Shock by the end of the first quarter. Quarterback Randy Hippeard threw the touchdown passes to T.T. Tolliver for his sixth touchdown in just his second game with Tampa Bay and Joe Hills, who now has a touchdown in 24 consecutive contests.

 

Lights, Camera, Hills… WR Joe Hills takes time interviewing with CBS Sports. Hills caught five passes for 45 yards and a touchdown to move into sixth all-time in team history with 56 TDs and seventh in receiving yards with 2,673. (photo by Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Spokane evened the score, 13-13, by 12:59 of the second, but the Storm re-gained the lead when Hippeard threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Lindsey. The Shock responded with a touchdown of its own, but missed the extra point to keep the Storm ahead by one.

 

Lindsey then factored in again for Tampa Bay on the ensuing kickoff when he ran for 13-yards to become the Storm’s new franchise leader for kickoff return yards.

Hippeard ended the half by throwing an interception to Spokane’s Bryant Nnabuife before time expired and the Shock carried the momentum over to the third, as they scored to open up the quarter and took a 33-27 lead less than three minutes into the start of the second half.

 

After going back-and-forth on the scoring front by the end of the game the Storm turned the ball over on downs, but their inability to score sealed their fate, as they were unable to produce any more offense for the rest of the game.

 

“We were going back-and-forth and we had the chance to go up right at the end of the half and I came up short with the pass,” Hippeard said. “In this game you have to score every time you touch the ball because it can be tough with the defense.”

 

Storm WR T.T. Toliver is tackeld after a good gain.  Toliver led all receivers with 10 catches.  He finished the evening with 112 yards and a touchdown.  Toliver is marching up the AFL All-Time career lists as he currently is fifth all-time in receiving yards, sixth all-time in receptions and ninth all-time in career touchdowns.(photo by Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

UP NEXT – The Storm hope to turn the tide next Saturday when they host the Portland Thunder for Star Wars night on Saturday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. Tampa Bay then exercises a bye week before heading to Philadelphia to face the Soul on May 17. Their next home game thereafter will be on Memorial Day weekend, as the Storm celebrates Military Appreciation Night on Saturday, May 24.

 

Donald Smith gets the crowd into it (photo by Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Lisa Denny of Tampa is all smiles after she grabbed a souvenir courtesy of an errant Randy Hippeard pass (photo by Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

 

Score by Quarters      1          2          3          4          Total

Spokane Shock           7          19        14        13        53                   

Tampa Bay Storm       13        14        7          7          41

 

1st Quarter

TAM – TT Toliver 5 pass from Randy Hippeard (kick failed) 10:35.

SPO – Erik Meyer 1 run (Taylor Rowan kick) 6:14.

TAM – Joe Hills 26 pass from Hippeard (Geoff Boyer kick) 1:30.

 

2nd Quarter

SPO – Adron Tennell 4 pass from Meyer (2pt pass failed) 12:59.

TAM – Michael Lindsey 26 pass from Hippeard (Boyer kick) 11:46.

SPO – Meyer 1 run (kick failed) 8:55.

TAM – Hippeard 2 run (Boyer kick) 2:43.

SPO – Terrance Sanders 6 pass from Meyer (Rowan kick) 00:30.

 

3rd Quarter

SPO – Mike Washington 15 pass from Meyer (Rowan kick) 12:45.

TAM – Dexter Jackson 1 run (Boyer kick) 4:58.

SPO – Tennell 19 pass from Meyer (Rowan kick) 2:05.

 

4th Quarter

TAM – Amarri Jackson 4 pass from Hippeard (Boyer kick) 11:50.

SPO – Brandon Thompkins 27 pass from Meyer (Rowan kick) 10:42.

SPO – Thompkins 7 pass from Meyer (pass failed) 4:41.

 

Statistical Leaders:

 

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

SPO – Erik Meyer  21-31-0-244-6

TAM – Randy Hippeard, 25-43-1-302-4

 

Rushing: (Att-Yds-TD)

SPO – Erik Meyer 3-2-2 , Brandon Thompkins 1-2-0

TAM – Randy Hippeard 4-12-1 , Dexter Jackson 5-12-1

 

Receiving:  (Rec-Yds-TD)

SPO  — Adron Tennell 8-79-2 , Brandon Thompkins 9-127-3 , Mike Washington 4-38-1,

TAM – T.T. Toliver 10-112-1, Joe Hills 5-45-1 , Amarri Jackson 9-99-1, Michael Lindsey 1-46-1.

 

KO Returns: (No.-Yds-TD)

SPO – Terraance Sanders 6-116-0, Taylor Rowan 1-13-0

TAM – Michael Lindsey 5-55-0

ALEXANDRA (photo by Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Julian Silva during his awesome rendition of the National Anthem (photo by Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

Spinner…  Dexter Jackson spins the ball after he scores on a one yard run.  Jackson who also plays linebacker recorded his first sack of the season. (photo by Chuck Green / Cg Photography)

 

 

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