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Tampa Bay Defeats Cleveland, 73-59, Heads To ArenaBowl XXX

Tuesday August 15, 2017

 Successful Onside Kick in Third Quarter Surged Storm Past Gladiators

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


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