Storm Offense Sputters, Fall to Soul 83-48

Apr 20, 2012 James Royer
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The Storm came into tonight's contest knowing that it would have would its hands full with the Soul, who own the No.1-rated offense in all of Arena Football.

Tampa Bay just wasn't expecting Philadelphia to find a rhythm so quickly.

The Soul scored seven first-half touchdowns on just 19 offensive snaps to take a commanding lead en route to an 83-48 victory over the Storm at the Wells Fargo Center.

Philadelphia quarterback Dan Raudabaugh completed 16 of 21 passes for 270 yards and eight touchdowns to key the victory to firmly keep the Soul in first place of the East Division.

Raudabaugh immediately struck the right note as he connected with receiver Tiger Jones for a 40-yard scoring strike just over a minute into the contest.

The Storm quickly matched the effort with its own march down the field. Quarterback Stephen Wasil found Prechae Rodriguez on a 10-yard strike to tie the score at seven with 10:15 remaining in the opening stanza.

Rodriguez, who came into the game as Tampa's leading receiver, returned to the lineup after he missed the previous game due to an injury.

Despite his game-high nine receptions for 90 yards and two touchdowns, the Storm could not overcome the early Soul cavalcade.

After it took a 14-7 lead, Philadelphia’s defense forced a Storm fumble and then stopped Tampa Bay twice on fourth down.

The Soul turned the defense into offense with 35 unanswered points to take a 42-7 lead with 3:02 left in the half.

The Storm tried to mount a comeback, but could not get closer than 26 points in the second half.

Wasil completed 21 of 35 passes for 225 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He also added his eighth rushing score on the season. Matt Grothe came into the game in the fourth quarter and completed his first pass for a score to Chandler Williams. Grothe completed both of his pass attempts for 46 yards.

Williams lead all receivers with 127 receiving yards to go along with two scores on seven receptions.

The loss leaves the Storm still looking for its first road win, but still sit atop the South Division with the Georgia Force, who dropped a 27-24 decision to Orlando.

Tampa Bay will have to wait for its first road win, as it returns home to the Tampa Bay Times Forum for a Monday night clash with Kansas City on April 30. Five days later, the Storm will renew the “War on I-4” as it hosts the Orlando Predators on May 5.