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Hippeard & Hilton Look To Reverse Storm's Fortune Against San Antonio

Connor Akeman
Friday March 21, 2014

As the Tampa Bay Storm prepare for Friday’s game against the San Antonio Talons, they know it will be a true test so early in the season. The Talons, since their move to San Antonio in 2012, have boasted a 3-0 record against Tampa Bay, including a 68-42 beat down of the Storm last year.

In order for the Storm to improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2008, they must rely heavily on the surprising duo that brought them success in last week’s home win over New Orleans. QB Randy Hippeard and WR Justin Hilton connected for nine completions, 147 yards and four touchdowns.

Although Hippeard has other dangerous targets in Michael Lindsey and Amarri Jackson, Hilton is beginning to prove why he can be the Storm’s main threat down the field. Dating back to last season, Hilton has caught at least one touchdown pass in three consecutive games.

On his performance last week in the opener against the VooDoo, Hilton explained that “We were just taking advantage of what the defense gave us.”

Hilton also gave Hippeard a lot of the credit for his performance. “I thought Hippeard played sharp and made some good decisions. We weren’t trying to do more than what the coach scripted out for us.”

While the Storm will rely on the deep ball at some points against the Talons, it will also be key for Tampa Bay to come up with defensive stops and plays as it did last week. Newly acquired DB Rod Issac has been impressive with the Storm early on and returning DB Chris Smith will also play a much larger role for the Storm as the year progresses.

With the Storm building team chemistry much quicker than in years past, they are poised to make a run at a very successful season. However on Friday night, Tampa Bay will look to finally take down an old nemesis in the Talons.

Connor Akeman is a freelance sports writer and aspiring radio broadcaster who resides in Tampa, FL. A Tampa native, he considers himself emotionally invested in the Rays, Buccaneers, and Lightning by enjoying season tickets to all three teams. He has followed the Storm since the early Tim Marcum days and can remember attending his first ever Arena Football game in 2007. Studying Mass Communications/Journalism, Connor graduated from the University of South Florida in May 2017. He has spent time with and has been published by the Orange County Register in Anaheim, CA as well as other outlets. He currently contributes to of SB Nation. You can follow Connor on Twitter @ConnorAkeman.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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