Tampa Bay Storm Press Release
Storm Improve The Storm Host the Talons During Faith & Family Night, April 12 at 8:00 pm
The Talons come to Tampa for the second time in two years. It is the fifth game versus the Talons. The Talons hold a1-3 advantage in the series with the Storm’s lone victory coming in the 2010 playoffs. Over the past two meetings, the Talons have outscored the Storm by a total of 52 points.
Talons head coach Lee Johnson is in his second season at the helm and knows the Storm well. Both Storm head coach Dave Ewart and Johnson are familiar with each other as they have met the past three seasons. Prior to joining the Talons, Johnson was the defensive coordinator for the South Division rival Orlando Predators during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
The Storm enters the matchup riding a two-game win streak, while the Talons has yet to find its first win of the season. San Antonio seems to be struggling for answers as its offense has been decimated by injury. Starting quarterback John Dutton suffered a season ending injury to his Achilles tendon during the Talons 48-41 loss to the Chicago Rush. This is a tremendous blow to the team that was looking to him to replace Aaron Garcia, who is now with the San Jose SaberCats. The Talons will now have to rely on Rohan Davey who took over for Dutton and threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for one more.
San Antonio will have its hands full trying to contain the Storm’s offense. Coming off of a dominating victory versus the Utah Blaze, the Storm will search for its third consecutive win. The high octane offense is powered by Adrian McPherson who has accounted for 25 total touchdowns (15 – Passing, 10 – rushing) and has yet to throw an interception. He leads the league in rushing yards with 130 and 10 rushing touchdowns. In addition, McPherson is the league’s leader in total offense with 1,004 yards.
McPherson has a plethora of receivers to throw to including Joe Hills. Hills is coming off the best game of his career and one of the best in the Storm and AFL history. In Utah, Hills caught 16 passes for 259 yards and seven touchdowns. The 16 receptions are the second most in a single-game in franchise history, and his 259 receiving yards are the most in franchise history, and the third most in a single-game in AFL history. Hills now leads the league in receptions per game with 10, and receiving yards per game with 155.7. However, the Storm can also look to receivers Greg Ellingson, Michael Lindsey and Chris C. Davis to contribute as well.
The Storm is improving defensively. Defensive backs Chris Smith and Jean Fanor have each intercepted a pass in the last two games. Fanor also leads the league in forced fumbles, averaging .67 per game. The team earned its first sacks of the season with defensive linemen Rodney Beamon and Tank Tyler finding ways to get to the opposing quarterback.
The improved defense has created turnovers for the offense, increasing the opportunities to score. Through three games, the Storm has a +8 turnover margin, second behind only the Arizona Rattlers. This is quite the improvement from 2012 when the Storm finished fifteenth in the league with a (-10) mark.
The Five-Time World Champion Tampa Bay Storm was awarded the 2012 AFL Support Staff of the Year. Single game tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800.745.3000 or by visiting the McDonalds® Ticket Office at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Season tickets can be purchased by visiting TampaBayStorm.com or by calling 813.301.6600. Additionally fans and sponsors can follow the Storm on Facebook (Tampa Bay Storm) or Twitter (@tampabaystorm) for up to date news and exclusive content.