Coming off back-to-back losses for the second time this season, the Storm look to right the ship as they play host to the San Antonio Talons this Saturday night. The overall mood going into this week’s matchup was positive, but the Storm realize this will not be an easy go-around considering San Antonio has an overall record of 10-3, and are currently riding a seven game win streak.
However, the team returns to the Tampa Bay Times Forum with a streak of its own. Currently the Storm enters this week’s tilt undefeated at home, going 6-0 on the season and 7-0 dating back to the 2011 season.
“It’s an incredible feeling to be undefeated at home,” said Storm defensive back Riley Swanson. “We just need to get back on the winning track, and stay in this playoff race.”
Defeating San Antonio will be no easy task, especially when trying to contain Talons’ QB Aaron Garcia, who comes into this matchup having thrown for 3,485 yards and 81 touchdowns. If there is one thing the Storm know, the key to winning the game is containing Garcia.
“Garcia is a great quarterback in this league,” added Swanson. “He knows just about every type of coverage so it’s going to take a lot of pressure, patience and discipline to knock him out of rhythm.”
Swanson’s analysis of Garcia was echoed by Storm head coach Dave Ewart.
“Aaron’s a great competitor, and he’ll be tough to stop,” said Ewart. “We need to play sound defense, and force him to commit turnovers.”
That may be the case, but the Storm also have to worry about protecting their own quarterback, Nick Hill, who will be facing a defense that is ranked second in the league with 30 sacks on the season.
“We need to keep Nick in the game, and protect him,” said Storm offensive lineman Tom Kaleita. “Give him time to make the big plays.”
The Storm will need those “big plays” as the players have the playoff hunt in mind, especially with the South Division up for grabs, as three of the five teams have identical records at 6-7.
“From here on out, all games are big,” said Storm quarterback Nick Hill. “We need to come out and take care of business. The division is there for the taking.”
The Storm are up for the challenge, and hope the fans are as well.
“We’ve hit a rough patch, and need to turn it around,” said Kaleita. “We’re going to need the home fans to really get behind us come Saturday night.”