Week 15 Preview: Storm at KISS

Jul 5, 2016

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Storm (1-11, 0-6) heads to the Honda Center to take on the LA KISS (5-7, 3-3) this Monday, July 11.  The Storm enters the final stretch of the season still searching for its second win.  Fans will be able to catch all of the action as Darek Sharp and Ian Beckles make the call for 620 AM WDAE. The game can also be streamed on the Lightning Power Play through the iHeartRadio app. The game will be broadcast on Univision Deportes. Kickoff is set for 10:00 p.m. ET.

This is the third matchup in series history between the Storm and the KISS.  It will be the first time the KISS has hosted the Storm. Tampa Bay holds a 1-1 record at home but the KISS have outscored the Storm by a total of 23 points.  KISS head coach, and former Storm player, Omarr Smith has a winning record versus the Storm, having defeated the team 54-27 in the season’s first matchup on June 18.

The Storm enters the game after suffering a 56-33 loss to the Orlando Predators in week 13.  While the Storm did lose, there were bright spots in the return of wide receivers Prechae Rodriguez and Kendrick Ings.  Rodriguez, a Jefferson H.S. standout, returned to the team after spending part of the 2015 season with the Jacksonville Sharks.  The Tampa native began his AFL career with the Storm in 2012 and had instant success.  In his return, Rodriguez showed why the Storm brought him back.  He led all receivers with 13 catches for 113 yards and three touchdowns.  Rodriguez would also go on to recover an onside kick and return it 10 yards for the score.

Ings would also make his return in dramatic fashion after spending the first part of the season with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League.  He caught four passes for 31 yards, but his real impact was on special teams.  Ings would return six kickoffs for 107 yards, showing why he is the team’s primary returner.  Ings now has eight career games with 100+ kickoff return yards.

Fans should also watch out for 13-year veteran T.T. Toliver, who can make history this week by becoming the League’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards.  Toliver has 21,030 all-purpose yards for his career, needing just 13 to surpass AFL Hall of Famer Barry Wagner (21,042) to become the League’s all-time leader.  He is the League’s all-time leader in receptions (1,172) and receiving yards (15,379).  Toliver is currently on his way to becoming one of the League’s greatest receivers of all-time, solidifying himself as a future AFL Hall of Famer.

There will be a lot riding on this game for the Storm.  With all teams making the postseason this year, it’s imperative for the Storm to get hot at the right time.  This game could go a long way in giving the team the bump necessary for postseason momentum.  Look for the Storm to come out swinging as it tries to execute for a full 60 minutes.