Storm vs. Force Recap

Mar 16, 2012

Storm 50 - Force 47 Final

Recap

Following a season-opening loss on the road last week, the Tampa Bay Storm kicked off the home portion of the 2012 regular season schedule Friday night by rebounding with a 50-47 victory over the Georgia Force at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Georgia came into the game sitting atop the South Division standings, but Friday’s victory moved Tampa Bay into a first-place tie with the Force for the division lead, as both clubs now sport 1-1 records.

Tampa Bay quarterback Stephen Wasil led the Storm by totaling 298 yards and four scores on the night, which helped the Storm build a cushion to stave off a late rally by Georgia in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

“I was pretty pleased with the way our guys played,” Storm head coach Dave Ewart said. “We could feel the energy down on the field from the fans and it definitely made a difference.”

Before a crown of 16,054 and with the Storm up 50-34, Georgia quarterback RJ Archer threw a pair of scores in the final minutes of the contest to bring the Force within three, but that would be as close as the team would get in attempting to earn it second consecutive victory on the season.

Archer played the majority of the game after taking over for starter Darnell Kennedy. The quarterback’s relief effort was marked by a six-touchdown performance, with half of those scores occurring in collaboration with receiver Brandon McRae.

Archer also threw for 242 yards and completed 19 of 26 passes on the evening. Nine of those throws ended up landing in the hands of receiver Larry Shipp, who led the Force with nine catches and 127 yards.

Williams proved to be Wasil’s primary target early as he recorded three catches for 35 yards and a pair of scores through the first two quarters that helped the Storm take a 27-13 lead into the break.

“We started fast, which was something we talked about before the game and wanted to do in front of our home crowd,” Ewart added. “That helped us carry over into the second half.”

As play resumed after halftime, Tampa Bay receiver Prechae Rodriguez stepped in and countered his teammate’s performance with 11 catches of his own for 164 yards and a touchdown en route to earning Offensive Player of the Game honors. Seven of those receptions came in the second half.

“It was a great team effort,” Rodriguez said. “Our receivers blocked, our quarterback threw the ball well and we all ran our routes the way we were supposed to.”

Rodriguez’s lone score came after a Georgia turnover in the third quarter, in which he hauled in Wasil’s pass to make it 34-13.

Wasil completed his night by also rushing for a late score and finding Mark Jones in the end zone for an additional touchdown in the fourth quarter. Jones concluded his night as the Storm’s second-leading receiver, as he amassed 63 yards on six receptions.

Tampa Bay’s offense, while impressive, was nicely complimented by an opportunistic defense on the night as well.

Erick McIntosh recorded nine solo tackles to lead all players on both teams, while Riley Swanson came up with a pick in the end zone that was followed up by a spectacular special teams play by Michael Lindsey, ultimately leading to late first-quarter touchdown and shifting the momentum in the Storm’s favor.

The team then carried that momentum throughout the remainder of the game and used it to its advantage to record the 200th win in franchise history.

“There’s a lot of work that was put in for the foundation of this franchise,” Ewart said of the milestone victory. “For me, I’m happy to be a part of it. It’s a privilege and it speaks volumes about who we are and what the Tampa Bay Storm stand for.”

The Storm have a scheduled bye week next week, and return to action Friday, April 30 to take on the Jacksonville Sharks at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

NOTES

* The victory was the 200th regular season victory for the franchise making the Storm the first in the AFL to reach that milestone...the next team in line is the Orlando Predators with 179 regular season victories.
* WR Prechae Rodriguez, who prepped locally at Jefferson H.S. (Tampa, FL) has recorded 23 receptions for 350 yards and four touchdowns in his first two games with the Storm.
* DB Riley Swanson recorded an interception in his second consecutive game...that is the second time in his career he intercepted passes in back-to-back games.
* The Storm special teams unit recovered a loose ball on a kickoff for the second time this season...The ball was recovered by Mark Jones. Last week in Chicago, Chandler Wiliams receoverd a loose ball on a kickoff.
* QB Stephen Wasil was two yards shy of 300 passing yards...it would have been his fourth career 300-yard passing game.
* With two rushing touchdowns on the ground this evening Tampa Bay now has scored five times on the ground this season.
* Despite just returning to the team this week and getting little practice, DB Deonte Bolden recorded three pass breaks ups and five tackles.

Audio Post-Game Interviews

Score By Quarters

Team
1st 
2nd
3rd
4th
Total
Storm
7
20
10
13
50
Force
6
7
7
27
47


Statistical Leaders:

Storm    Force
Passing
CP/AT 
Yds
TD
INT
 
Passing
CP/AT 
Yds
TD
INT
S.Wasil 
25/47
298
4
2
 
R. Archer
19/26
242
6
0
            D. Kennedy
3/11
20
0
1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rushing
ATT
Yds
TD
LG
 
Rushing
ATT
Yds
TD
LG
S. Wasil 
6
9
1
4
 
D. Kennedy
1
16
0
16
W. Rutledge
4
12
0
4
 
M. Benson 
1
4
0
4
M. Lindsey
2
3
1
3
           
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Receiving 
REC
Yds
TD
LG
 
Receiving 
REC
Yds
TD
LG
P. Rodriguez
11
164
1
27
 
L. Shipp
9
127
2
34
M. Jones
6
63
1
21
 
B McRae
7
83
3
35
M. Lindsey
5
36
0
11
 
C. Johnson
3
32
0
21
C.Williams
3
35
2
23
  D. Lee
3
20
1
7
                     
Kickoff Returns 
REC
AVG
TD
LG
 
Kickoff Returns 
REC
Yds
TD
LG
M. Lindsey
2
13
0
20
 
C. Johnson
6
153
1
57
                     

Team Stats

Force 
 
Storm
17
First Downs
23
2-20
Yards Rushing (Net)
12-22
262
Yards Passing (Net)
280
37-22-1
Passes Att-Comp-Int
47-25-2
39-282
Total Offensive Plays-Yards
63-302
0-0
Fumble Returns - Yards
1-0
7-179
Kickoff Returns - Yards
4-30
2-10
Interception Returns - Yards
1-0
1-1
Fumbles - Lost
2-1
5-35
Penalties- Yards
6-46
19:47
Tme of Possession
37:51
2 of 7
Third Down Conversion
3 of 11
1 of 2
Fourth Down Conversions
3 of 3
4-6
Red Zone Score - Chances
3-4