The Tampa Bay Storm came into tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Soul tied for the South Division lead with a 6-3 record and had been playing good football. Storm quarterback Adrian McPherson said it best, “We may have come into this game too confident.”
That may have even been the case after the first half when the Storm went into the locker room with a 34-31 lead over the Soul.
Even though the Storm offense started the game slow, the defense kept it close in the first quarter with a key stop deep in Storm territory after a turnover on downs. The defense would get the ball back for the Storm during the sequence when the Soul fumbled a field goal snap.
McPherson would sneak in four plays later for one of his two rushing touchdowns on the night. Tampa Bay exploded in the second quarter for 28 points behind two touchdown receptions from Joe Hills, as well as his first career kickoff return for a touchdown when the Soul tried an onside kick. The standout receiver jumped up and pulled down the ball and took it 15 yards to the endzone.
McPherson also posted a solid half going 9-for-15 with three touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown.
The Storm got the ball to begin the second half and looked to build on its three-point lead, but the drive stalled and Tampa Bay turned the ball over on downs.
Three plays later, Soul fullback Derrick Ross took it in to the end zone for his third rushing touchdown of the night and that is where the momentum swung in favor of Philadelphia.
After trading scores, Tampa Bay failed to recover its onside kick attempt and the Soul’s Tiger Jones caught a touchdown pass on the very next play.
Philadelphia would then recover an onside kick and two plays later Ryan McDaniel turned a short pass into a 44-yard touchdown.
The Storm could never gain the momentum back and only managed 21 second half points, falling 73-55 to the Soul Saturday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Individually, receivers Hills and Ellingson had strong nights for the Storm. They tied for a game-high nine catches. Hills finished with a game-high 131 yards and four total touchdowns. Ellingson added two touchdowns receptions as well.
McPherson finished 19-for-35 passing with 258 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 48 yards and two touchdowns.
Soul signal-caller Dan Raudabaugh had an almost perfect night going 20-for-23 for 297 yards and seven touchdowns.
Ross finished with four total touchdowns for Philadelphia.
The Storm, who are 4-1 on the road this season, will look to get back on track after falling to 6-4 tonight when they travel to Iowa next week to take on the Barnstormers.