Tampa Bay Sports Day

AFL: Hippeard, Hills, Jackson Lead Tampa Bay Storm to 10th Win of Season

The Tampa Bay Storm (10-3) defeated the Cleveland Gladiators (4-9), 57-27, Saturday in the final home game of the regular season before an energetic crowd of 10,567 at AMALIE Arena.
 
Quarterback Randy Hippeard led the Storm offense with five touchdown passes and another on the ground and Alvin Ray Jackson’s two fumble recoveries and pair of interceptions commanded the defense.
 
The Storm led 28-13 at halftime, then scored three more touchdowns in the third period to increase its lead to 48-20.
 
It was the first time since 2010 that the Storm has totaled 10 or more wins. Tampa Bay was 11-5 in the regular season in 2010.
 
Joe Hills made it 80 consecutive games played with a touchdown. The Tampa Bay wide receiver caught a game-high 10 passed for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Kendrick Ings also grabbed two touchdowns and totaled seven catches. Hills was named Offensive Player of the Game.
 
The Tampa Bay Storm have a Bye Week next weekend and then finish off the 2017 campaign in the City of Brotherly Love against the Philadelphia Soul Saturday, August 5 at the Wells Fargo Center. The Storm then return home to host a playoff game versus either the Cleveland Gladiators (4-9) or Baltimore Brigade Monday, August 14 at 7 p.m. ET.

GAME NOTES: Tampa Bay is now 12-12 all-time versus the Gladiators and 4-1 against teams coached by Ron Selesky. The Storm forced five turnovers in the game. The most in a game this season and the most since May 3, 2014 versus the Portland Thunder. This game saw the largest margin of victory for the Storm since the team beat the Jacksonville Sharks by 35 points on May 2, 2015. It is also the lowest points allowed since April 17, 2015 when the Storm held the New Orleans VooDoo to 13 points. JACK linebacker Alvin Ray Jackson recorded an interception early in the game and returned it for a touchdown. Due to injuries, he was pressed into duty at defensive back and recorded another interception and a fumble recovery. He would go on to recover a loose ball on special teams as well. This is his fourth career multi-interception game in his career. Tampa Bay Storm quarterback and leading candidate for MVP of the Year, Randy Hippeard, finished the game with 234 yards passing and five touchdowns while completing 22-of-36 passes. He now has 15,137 career passing yards, making him the 25th quarterback in Arena Football League history to reach the milestone of 15,000 yards.