TAMPA BAY -- Jason Boltus overcame an almost impossible task, but the first year Orlando quarterback, rallied the Predators (3-0) with two touchdowns in the last 50 seconds against Tampa Bay (2-1), the second with six seconds left on the clock to defeat the Storm, 56-52, in the 53rd edition of the “War on I-4” Saturday night in an Arena Football League game on the Amalie Motor Oil Field at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Boltus connected with Kendall Tompkins for 29 yards just inside the one-minute timing rules at the end of the contest that saw Tampa Bay lead, 52-42 with 3:30 remaining. The Preds got the ball back with 14 seconds left an then Boltus connected with Greg Carr from three yards out.
Time ran out during the ensuing kickoff.
Boltus was 28 for 44 with a pair of interceptions and six touchdowns. His Storm counterpart Randy Hippeard was 17 of 32, no interceptions, seven touchdowns, five of those to wide receiver Amarri Jackson.
Jackson had only 83 yards on six catches and teammate Michael Lindsey had five grabs for 108 yards and a TD. Justin Hilton had five catches for 86 yards and the other touchdown for the Storm.
The third quarter was all as Hippeard found Amarri Jackson twice on touchdown passes of 10 and eight yards thanks to the two Chris Smith interceptions. Tampa Bay led 39-34 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Orlando built a 21-6 lead five seconds into the second period, but the Storm scored on three consecutive possessions in the next 10 minutes thanks to some outstanding defensive plays.
Orlando scored with no time on the clock in the half as Jason Boltus connected with Carr for 14 yards that gave the Predators a 28-26 margin at halftime.
The Tampa Bay Storm host the Philadelphia Soul next week (Friday, April 4) for a cross-division, American Conference contest. Game time on the Amalie Motor Oil Field in the Tampa Bay Times Forum is 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on radio 1250 AM (WHNZ) in Tampa Bay with Jack Harris and Derek calling all the action.