Storm faces Soul in ArenaBowl XXX

Aug 21, 2017 Tampa Bay Storm

The Tampa Bay Storm (10-4, 1-0) heads to the City of Brotherly Love this Saturday, August 26th, to take on the Philadelphia Soul (13-1, 1-0) at Wells Fargo Center in ArenaBowl XXX.  The Storm will be looking to earn a League-record, sixth ArenaBowl Championship.  The game will be broadcast and streamed live on Twitter and AFLNow.  Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET.

This will be the 21st meeting between Tampa Bay and Philadelphia, and twelfth time facing the Soul on the road.  Philadelphia has a commanding series lead of 15-5, and the Storm is 1-9 when facing Philadelphia away from home.  The two teams have only met once in the AFL playoffs and that was in the 2016 postseason when the Soul defeated the Storm 63-41.

The 30-year old franchise of the Tampa Bay Storm enters the Championship for its 10th time.  After being defeated by the Soul in all three contests this season, the Storm will be facing an uphill task.  However, the team is no stranger to adversity and throughout its history it has found success in the ArenaBowl when playing on the road.  In fact, at 3-2, the team has a better record when playing in the big game away from home.

The Storm roster is littered with players that have ArenaBowl experience.  Nine members of the 24-man roster have played in an ArenaBowl at some point in their career.  Most recently was defensive back Alfred Phillips who played against the Soul in ArenaBowl XXIX during his time with the Arizona Rattlers.

The team will rely on a combination of the experience and the talent that fills out the roster.  The Storm enters the game after defeating the Cleveland Gladiators 73-59.  The 73 points were the most points scored by the Storm all season.  Quarterback Randy Hippeard completed 72.7% (24-of-33) of his passes for 313 yards and seven touchdowns.  The League MVP candidate would also add two scores on the ground on five rushing attempts.

To defeat the Soul, the Storm will need to play a complete game, something it has building towards over the past few weeks.  The defense will need to keep Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh on his toes and push him off his mark.  Doing so could force him to make mistakes, allowing the Storm to capitalize on turnovers.  But forcing turnovers will not be enough.  The Storm must score on forced turnovers.  That will be the key to defeating the Soul.

One thing for sure is that ArenaBowl XXX is slated to be a must-see matchup.  The Storm will be looking to continue its quest for redemption and bring the Foster Trophy back home, while the Soul will be looking to continue to build on its growing legacy.  This will be a matchup for the ages and something fans will not want to miss.