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Defense Leads Way to Fifth Straight Storm Win

 

The Storm won their fifth game in a row, beating Orlando 35-34 Saturday night at the Forum.

After Tampa Bay had been stopped twice inside the 1-yard line on earlier drives, Randy Hippeard saved the day with his 3-yard touchdown run on fourth down for the 35-345 lead with 3:12 left.

The defense then came up big with an interception by Rod Isaac. It was the fourth time the Storm stopped Orlando on its four second-half drives. Tampa Bay was able to run out the clock from there.

Tampa Bay and Orlando are both 8-6 atop the South Division but the Predators still hold the tiebreaker with four games left. The Storm start a three-game road trip at Cleveland next Friday. Cleveland is 12-1 after beating Philadelphia Saturday, 69-68 on a 47-yard TD on the last play.

That Philadelphia loss means the Storm are in great shape to make the playoffs, two games ahead of both Philly and Iowa  for the last Wild Card, with the tiebreaker on both.

Orlando led 27-21 at halftime, going 4-for-4 on the Storm defense, but the Storm got the advantage quickly with a James Harrell interception followed by Amarri Jackson's 24-yard TD catch for a 28-27 lead.

Jammie Kirlew then forced a fumble with a sack, however the Storm got stuffed at the half-yard line. After a third straight stop Tampa Bay thought it had scored, early in the fourth quarter, but replay ruled Joe Hills had started to lose control of the ball just as he got to the goal line.

Orlando got its only points with nine minutes left for a 34-28 lead.

 

 

 

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