Storm loses regular season finale, fall to the Sharks 44-52
Sunday July 28, 2013
Jacksonville, FL – The Tampa Bay Storm (7-11, 2-4) was defeated by the Jacksonville Sharks (12-6, 6-0) Saturday evening in front of a crowd of 10,409 fans at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, by a score of 44-52. Storm wide receiver Joe Hills broke the single-season receiving yardage record, and the single-season receptions record. The Storm also clinched the fourth seed in the American Conference, and will face either the Philadelphia Soul, or Jacksonville Sharks next Saturday, August 3.
The Storm defense got the game started on the right foot with a Jean Fanor hauling in his sixth interception on the season. The Storm would go on to score on the ensuing drive putting up the first points of the night. The teams traded scores for most of the night, but the Sharks defense turned up the heat with defensive back Tracy Belton hauling in an interception for a score. On the following drive, defensive lineman Jamaal Fudge returned a fumble for a touchdown putting the sharks up for good.
The Storm offense was led by Shane Boyd who made his Storm starting debut. He completed 27-of-42 passes for 315 yards and four touchdowns. His main target was Hills who led all Storm receivers with 11 receptions for 144 yards and a touchdown. Hills now holds the franchise single-season receiving yards record with 1,861. He is also the franchise leader for receptions in a season with 133.
The Sharks offense was led by Kyle Rowley who stepped in for starter Bernard Morris. He completed 13-of-16 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns. He spread the ball around, finding four different receivers. The leading receiver for the Sharks was Shamar Graves. Graves caught 13 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown.
The Tampa Bay Storm will head to either Jacksonville or Philadelphia for its first round American Conference playoff game this coming Saturday, August 3.