Amalie Motor Oil Field at Amalie Arena
The Tampa Bay Storm (0-4, 0-2) fell to the Jacksonville Sharks (2-3, 2-1) in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. With 4:35 left in regulation, Sharks quarterback Tommy Grady found newly acquired wide receiver, Prechae Rodriguez in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. The score would prove to be the game-winning touchdown as Jacksonville went up 33-27 and never looked back, holding the Storm scoreless on its final drive.
Rookie Storm quarterback Jonathan Bane made his starting debut, connecting on 21-of-38 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns. His top-target of the night was 13-year veteran T.T. Toliver. Toliver led all receivers in yardage with 148 yards on nine catches with two touchdowns.
The beginning of the game saw a jolt of energy from Storm newcomer Mike Washington. Washing joined the team last week in a trade with the Arizona Rattlers. He opened the scoring with a 58-yard kick return for a touchdown to put the Storm up 7-0. Washington finished the night with four catches for 65 yards.
The Sharks were led by Grady who completed 28-of-37 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite target was Tiger Jones, who caught 10 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. Former receiver Joe Hills also notched a 135 yards and a touchdowns on seven catches.
Defensively the Storm held one of the most high-powered offenses to just 33 points, the lowest point total for the Sharks this season. The team forced several turnovers, including a fumble recovery by defensive back Cortez Stubbs and an interception by defensive back James Harrell. However, it was not enough to hold on for the win.
The Storm heads to Philadelphia to take on the Soul on Monday, May 9 at the Wells Fargo Center. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. ET.
1st Quarter .
TAM – Mike Washington 58 kickoff return (Craig Peterson) 14:49.
JAX – Joe Hills 48 pass from Tommy Grady (Kick Blocked) 13:31.
JAX –Moqut Ruffins 8 pass from Grady (Mark Capozzoli kick) 5:03.
TAM – Xavier Boyce 13 pass from Jonathan Bane (kick failed) 3:15.
JAX – Derrick Ross 1 run (kick failed) 00:13.
JAX – Tiger Jones 21 pass from Grady (Capozzoli kick) 9:50.
TAM – T.T. Toliver 31 pass from Bane (Peterson kick) 00:37.
TAM – Toliver 27 pass from Bane (Peterson kick) 10:01.
JAX – Prechae Rodriguez 8 pass from Grady (Capozzzoli kick) 4:35.
JAX – Tommy Grady (28-37-1-308-4)
TAM – Jonathan Bane (21-38-0-281-3)
JAX – Derrick Ross (8-19-1), Tommy Grady (1-2-0).
TAM – Jonathan Bane (3-7-0).
JAX – Roger Jackson 6-50-0), Tiger Jones (10-106-1), Joe Hills (7-135-1), Moqut Ruffins (1-8-1), Derrick Ross (1-(-2)-0).
TAM – T.T. Toliver (9-148-2), Phillip Barnett (7-55-0), Mike Washington (4-65-0), Xavier Boyce (1-13-1).
KO Returns: (No.-Yds-TD)
JAX – David Hyland (4-(-15)-0).
TAM – Mike Washington (6-108-1).
Under Armour Offensive Player of the Game: T.T. Toliver, Tampa Bay.
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Cortez Stubbs, Tampa Bay.
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: Jones, Jacksonville.
Cutters Catch of the Game: T.T. Toliver, TB, 9:50, 4th.
AFL Highlight of the Game: Mike Washington, Tampa Bay, Opening game kickoff return for a touchdown.