Photo via: Tampa Bay Storm

AFL Press Release

TAMPA, FL –   The Tampa Bay Storm (10-4, 1-0) are headed to the ArenaBowl for the 10th time in franchise history after knocking off the Cleveland Gladiators (5-9, 0-1), 73-59, in front of 9,621 fans at AMALIE Arena on Monday evening. The 73 points scored by the Storm is the most points scored in a playoff game in franchise history.

Tampa Bay scored at the 4:30 mark in the third quarter to go up by five, 44-39. On the ensuing kickoff, Mark Lewis executed a perfectly placed onside kick that was recovered by Kendrick Ings at the 13-yard line. Ings went on to score a touchdown at the end of the drive to put the Storm up by 13, a lead the team would not relinquish.

Joe Hills, the front runner for Wide Receiver of the Year, started off the night putting the Storm on the scoreboard first on a seven-yard pass from Randy Hippeard. Hills went on to score five touchdowns, four on receptions and one on a kickoff return, as he caught seven passes for 78 yards. Hippeard threw for 313 yards and seven touchdowns as he completed 24-of-33 passes. He would add his second rushing touchdown to close out the scoring for the Storm with under a minute to play. LaMark Brown finished of the game with an interception on the final play.

The Gladiators were led by Quentin Sims, who caught a game-high five touchdowns, he would finish the game with 12 catches for 129 yards. Arvell Nelson threw seven touchdown passes as he completed 27-of-40 passes for 322 yards. Fullback Jeramie Richardson added two more scores on the ground as he rushed for five yards on seven carries.

The Tampa Bay Storm (10-4, 1-0) head to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the Philadelphia Soul (13-1, 1-0) in ArenaBowl XXX on Saturday, August 26 at 7:00 p.m. ET at the Wells Fargo Center In Philadelphia, PA. Fans can watch the game via #GoLive on Twitter. This is the first ArenaBowl matchup between the two teams. This will mark the 10th ArenaBowl appearance for the franchise, with an overall record of 5-4 in the previous nine championship games. For the Soul, this marks the franchise’s fifth appearance in the ArenaBowl with a 2-2 record.

Score by Quarters                                 1          2          3          4          Total

Cleveland Gladiators                                 13        19        7          20        59
Tampa Bay Storm                                    14        17        13        29        73

 

1st Quarter

TAM – Joe Hills seven-yard pass from Randy Hippeard (Mark Lewis kick) – 11:09
CLE – Quentin Sims seven-yard pass from Arvell Nelson (Drew Basil failed) – 6:29
TAM – LaMark Brown six-yard pass from Hippeard (Lewis kick) – 4:15
CLE – Sims 10-yard pass from Nelson (Basil kick) – 0:55

2nd Quarter

TAM – Hillls 14-yard pass from Hippeard (Lewis kick) – 14:14
CLE – Sims 18-yard pass from Nelson (Basil kick) – 13:06
TAM – Kendrick Ings 29-yard pass from Hippeard (Lewis kick) – 10:27
CLE – Jeramie Richardson one-yard rush (Basil failed) – 4:15
CLE – Sims two-yard pass from Nelson (Nelson pass failed) – 0:09
TAM – Lewis 30-yard Field Goal – 0:00

3rd Quarter

TAM – Hippeard one-yard rush (Lewis kick) – 13:15
CLE – Richardson two-yard rush (Basil kick) – 8:57
TAM –  Hills 17-yard pass from Hippeard (Lewis failed) – 4:30

4th Quarter 

TAM – Ings three-yard pass from Hippeard (Ings pass) – 12:18
CLE – Michael Preston 12-yard pass from Nelson (Basil kick) – 8:53
TAM – Hills 14-yard pass from Hippeard (Lewis kick) – 6:18
CLE – Preston 34-yard pass from Nelson (Basil kick) – 3:35
TAM – Hills 11-yard kickoff return (Lewis kick) –3:14
CLE – Sims eight-yard pass from Nelson (Basil failed) – 0:53
TAM – Hippeard two-yard rush (Lewis kick) – 0:38

INDIVIDUAL STATS                                                                 

Passing (C-A-INT-Yds-TD)

CLE – Arvell Nelson (27-40-1-322-7) 
TAM – Randy Hippeard (24-33-0-313-7)

Rushing: (Att-Yds-TD)                                                                        

CLE –  Arvell Nelson (4-13-0), Jeramie Richardson (7-5-2),
TAM – Randy Hippeard (5-8-2)

Receiving:  (Rec-Yds-TD)

CLE – Quentin Sims (12-137-5), Michael Preston (7-91-2), Collin Taylor (6-27-0), Lonnie Outlaw (1-22-0)
TAM – Kendrick Ings (8-124-2), LaMark Brown (8-97-1), Joe Hills (7-78-4), Justin Hilton (1-14-0)

KO Returns: (No.-Yds-TD)

CLE – Kenny Veal (8-185-0)
TAM – Kendrick Ings (5-71-0), Michael Lindsey (2-15-0), Joe Hills (2-1-1)

Offensive Player of the Game : TAM, WR Joe Hills
Defensive Player of the Game: TAM, JLB Alvin Ray Jackson
MVP OF THE GAME: TAM, WR/KR Kendrick Ings

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