The Storm Lose Home Opener in Final seconds 64-55
The game started with a moment of silence for Storm wide-out Chandler Williams, who passed away January 15 at age 27 to cardiac arrest. Williams' mother and fiance Vanitia Harrigan were made honorary captains of the game.
The game kicked off with Tampa Bay winning the coin toss, Williams' fiancé was chosen to toss the coin, and choosing to defer to the second half. Jacksonville delivers the first blow by scoring on a 13 yard pass on it's opening drive. Tampa Bay wastes no time, answering back on a 1 yard run by quarterback Adrien McPherson tying the game with 6:23 left in the 1st. Jacksonville answers back immediately using only 3 plays for a Bernard Morris and Markee White hookup for a 6 yard Touchdown. This gives Jacksonville a 7 point lead and quarterback Bernard Morris his 2nd touchdown of the day. The second quarter was a battle of the quarterbacks as Tampa Bay's Adrien McPherson scores 3 touchdowns on the ground and Jacksonville's Bernard Morris scores one on the ground and another in the air. This ties the game 28-28 at the half.
Adrien McPherson has 44 rushing yards with 4 touchdowns. He also gives the Storm 92 yards passing. Tampa Bay newcomer Greg Ellingson leads the team in receptions (8) and receiving yards (81).
Tampa Bay started off the half with McPherson throwing a 15 yard pass to wideout Joe Hills in only 2 minutes of play. On the next drive Jacksonville's Rendric Taylor answered back on a 32 yard run to tie the game. After another Jacksonville touchdown, Tampa Bay's McPherson connect again on a 16 yard play to tie the game again with the score at 42-42 to end the quarter. Halfway into the 4th quarter Adrien McPherson sets a new Storm record with 5 rushing touchdowns on a 1 yard run to give the Storm the lead. After a Jacksonville touchdown, the Storm's Michael Lindsey showed fans why he is nicknamed "Lambo". Lindsey burst through the middle for a 55 yard kick return for a touchdown, but Tampa Bay's extra point was blocked giving the Storm only a 6 point lead with 2:35 left in the game. Jacksonville's late game play was excellent with Bernard Morris throwing 2 more touchdowns, giving him 7 total, and the special team converting an onside kick.
The final score was 64-55 giving Jacksonville a 1-0 start and Tampa Bay a 0-1 start. The Storm's next game is against the Cleveland Gladiators at home. Jacksonville plays the Pittsburgh Power next week.
For more stats and info visit www.tampabaystorm.com