Saturday night in front of a season high of 16,308 fans at Amalie Arena , Storm QB Jason Boltus connected with T.T Toliver on a 5 yard scoring pass with 15 seconds left. This enabled the Storm to snap a 4 game losing streak with a 38-34 win over Los Angeles sealed the Kiss’ fate in making the postseason. Tampa Bay’s victory didn’t receive much benefit after Cleveland’s dominating win over Spokane that eliminated head coach Lawrence Samuels’ Storm.
The Kiss Undaunted came back in a strange game. After a defensive First Half that Saw Danny Southwick Kiss QB complete 2 of his first 10, and Jason Boltus 7-17 at Halftime for 71 yards, neither Offense was stopped in a wild 2nd Half. The Kiss scoring twice in the 2nd Quarter lead 14-10 at the Half.
Southwick, (only 13 for 29 on the night) came back with his 4th Passing TD of the game to Tom Gilson with 4:05 Left as LA regained the lead at 34-31.
The Storm then took over with 3:31 left and went 6 plays for 45 yards. Key plays started with a 15 yard completion to Kendrick Ings. The Kiss saw Boltus find Julius Gregory for 4 yards down to the 15 yard line. The Kiss Coaches elected not to call time out. Strange decision by Bob McMillen. The Kiss had 3 Timeouts Remaining and has Danny Southwick. Southwick connected on a 46 yard Bomb for a score to Donovan Morgan and Tom Gilson for 38 yards, is more of a short and intermediate thrower. The Kiss let the clock run off 20 seconds for Tampa stopped it at :24 seconds before the TD to T.T.
The Kiss after the Kickoff return still had to go 35 yards. Because of the lack of calling Timeouts when the Kiss could not stop the Storm, after 3 First Half stops, 2 plays all there would be time for. Southwick connected with Demarco Sampson for 20 Yards and on the last play he threw his 3rd Pick of the Night. He also was Sacked 3 Times. Southwick also possibly cost the Kiss a Posession at the end of the 1st Half, which if they had capitalized, they may have had the game put away. He has a tendency to hold on to the ball too long. On a similar type play he took a Sack, fumbled and recovered by Dexter Jackson.
Boltus finished still with a low percentage as he has all season. 20-39 221 Yards and 3 TDS. He had 5 Receivers led by Sammons lead the way with 6 Catches. T.T and Morgan for his team the Kiss each had 2 Scoring Touchdowns.
It is clear the Storm are building a better base. However, looking now to 2016 they need another Offensive Lineman or 2. Perhaps another Speed Reciever and another anchor on the Line to Help Richard Clebert. Even though the Defense came through tonight with 4 total stops, the Defense a strength much of the season, was not as productive in the final weeks. Although, the Offensive Failures are always a part of that equation.
The Storm will try and finish the season on a great note as they close next weekend at Orlando.