TAMPA, FL- One week after a strong defensive performance and a 27-point showing by the offense, the Storm clicked on both sides of the ball in a 42-13 rout of the New Orleans VooDoo.
“They ran into an angry football team,” said head coach Lawrence Samuels. “It feels good to get a win in front of our fans and build confidence.”
New Orleans’ opening drive lasted nearly eight minutes but in the end, the Storm held them to a field goal. The offense responded just minutes later with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Jason Boltus to Julius Gregory. After falling behind 10-7 late in the first, Boltus found T.T. Toliver for a 34-yard touchdown early in the second to give Tampa Bay a lead that they never looked back on. The touchdown catch was the 250th of his career.
A 26-yard field goal by Garrett Lindholm cut the Storm lead to one with 5:25 left in the first half, but from there, the Tampa Bay defense held strong. They shut New Orleans out for the final 35:25 while forcing three turnovers. In the past eight quarters, the Storm have allowed just 49 points total.
“The defense played lights out,” said Samuels. “What more can you say?”
The defense played well last week, but this time around, the offense gave them the support they needed to come away with a victory. Jason Boltus completed 19 of 29 passes for 224 yards and six touchdowns, finding four different receivers in the end zone. Kendrick Ings and Phillip Barnett both caught two touchdowns, compensating for the absence of the scratched Jarvis Williams.
“We did more studying as a group,” said Ings of the offense’s preparation work during the week. “We just came together as a group and got better.”
With the win, Tampa Bay’s record stands at 2-2 heading into next week’s matchup in Cleveland against the Gladiators. It will be a rematch of the season opener, a game that the Storm dropped 60-44.
“We’re going to continue to get better every week,” said Samuels. “Consistency and getting better. Once we get consistent, we’ll actually start clicking on all cylinders.”
Kickoff for next Friday’s game is set for 7:00.