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Valor Nearly Navigate A Not So Perfect Storm

Jon Stark
Sunday May 14, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC -  The Washington Valor (1-3) fought hard, this time at home against the Tampa Bay Storm (4-1) inside of Verizon Center. Washington's new look offense provided the drive to almost cruise into victory Saturday night in front of 8,420 fans. The Storm rolled out with a win, 41-33.

"We scored on every possession on offense which was a big improvement for us,” said Valor Head Coach Dean Cokinos. “Our guys played really hard, we had a chance to tie the game at the end but we had miscues. There are reasons why you win or lose and we will address them."
Outscoring their opponent in the second half for the first time this season, quarterback Erik Meyer and the Valor offense were in the (red)zone, Meyer completed 17 of 29 for 183 yards, linking up with five different receivers for five touchdowns. Not too shabby nor far behind Storm QB Randy Hippeard who finished 20 for 31, 205 yards and six touchdowns, he also walked away with MVP of the Game honors.
Hippeard was held in check by a strong defensive showing from the Valor, led by Defensive Player of the Game Brandon Sesay who finished with five tackles, two assists and 2.5 sacks. The team combined for 25 solo tackles and five sacks. While Meyer remained untouched, the five total sacks on Hippeard still weren't enough to overcome the three fumbles Washington had, one in the final moments while moving down-field to tie the game. The Storm played their part defensively too, although only finishing with 11 solo tackles, they still forced incompletions and made Washington play some small ball.
Small ball? The longest play of the game was only a 26-yarder from Storm QB Randy Hippeard to wide receiver Lamark Brown in the first quarter, after that windows began to close on both sides. WR Joe Hills still managed to keep his streak alive though, 73 consecutive games with a touchdown, and with three TD on the night he also picked up Offensive Player of the Game, whoa. Oh, and this was the first game for Valor wide receiver Swag aka Charles McClain, turning four receptions and 37 yards into two touchdowns. Once Mike Washington is back, those two could turn into a dynamic duo.
So a Rematch Already?
Next weekend Washington will head south to Tampa Bay, Florida and play the Storm inside of Amalie Arena. If the Valor can improve on their performance from this week then they've got a good shot at snapping their losing streak. Don't miss the action May 20th at 7:00 p.m. on Monumental Sports Network.

Jon studied Business Management at the University of Pittsburgh and is originally from Maryland. An avid DMV sports fan, he often attends Capitals, Orioles, Wizards and Redskins games. Now a Washington Valor season plan holder and columnist for ArenaFan, he`ll be at every home game covering the team. He spends his free time with friends and family and freelancing graphic design projects. You can follow Jon on Twitter @5FIFTY3
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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