The Tampa Bay Storm could not quite finish off its improbable fourth quarter comeback this past Saturday night in New Orleans as it dropped to 7-6 on the season with a 54-51 loss to the Voodoo.
After only managing to score 26 points through the first three quarters, Tampa Bay lit up the scoreboard with 25 fourth quarter points, but the deficit was just too much to overcome.
The Storm’s first half could not have really gone any worse. The first possession of the game saw Adrian McPherson throw an interception that led to a quick score for the Voodoo. Early in the second quarter McPherson threw another pick and New Orleans capitalized with a touchdown on the next play.
Just before halftime, McPherson would be relieved by quarterback Randy Hippeard due to a lower body injury.
Heading into the fourth quarter the Storm found itself down by 21 points but the team started to show some signs of life.
Storm defensive back Jean Fanor knew the defense would have to step up and make a play if the team was going to have any chance to get back into the game.
After a one yard touchdown run by Hippeard, Fanor stepped in front of a Kurt Rocco pass and took it 45 yards for a touchdown bringing the Storm within 10 points with less than nine minutes left to play.
The defense would stymie the Voodoo offense again, getting the ball back from a turnover-on-downs.
On the next play, Hippeard would find Michael Lindsey for a 23-yard touchdown with less than four minutes left to play.
The ensuing kickoff saw the Storm’s Jason Chery force a fumble, but New Orleans would recover.
Unfortunately it was just too late. The Voodoo would escape the Storm’s tumultuous comeback as New Orleans was able to run out the clock.
Chris C. Davis led the Storm offensively with 11 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown.
Joe Hills and Lindsey had respectable games, with 107 and 84 yards receiving respectively. Each had a touchdown grab.
Hippeard came in after the McPherson injury and led the Storm comeback. He did not turn the ball over and threw for 195 yards and two touchdowns, completing 13-of-18 passing. He also added two rushing touchdowns.
Prior to leaving the game McPherson completed 13-of-21 passes for 147 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He would rush for a pair of scores as well.
Along with Fanor, Chris Smith, added an interception in his first game back, bringing his season total to eight.
New Orleans was led by receivers Quorey Payne and Donovan Morgan.
Payne accumulated 98 yards on four catches and added two touchdowns while Morgan had a team-high eight catches, two of which were touchdowns, and 69 yards.
Rocco threw for 210 yards on 17-for-31 passing, six touchdowns and two interceptions. He also had a rushing touchdown to his credit.
The Storm will return home to the Tampa Bay Times Forum next Saturday night to take on the Central Division leading Chicago Rush.