|March 23||vs Jacksonville||
|March 30||vs Cleveland||W 69-37|
|April 6||AT Utah||
|April 12||vs San Antonio||L 36-52|
|April 20||AT Orlando||
|April 27||AT Spokane||W 70-62|
|May 4||vs New Orleans||
|May 10||AT San Jose||L 34-64|
|May 18||AT Pittsburgh||
|May 25||vs Philadelphia||L 55-73|
|June 1||AT Iowa||
|June 8||vs Orlando||L 48-55|
|June 15||AT New Orleans||
|June 22||vs Chicago||L 49-50|
|July 6||vs Spokane||
|July 13||AT San Antonio||L 42-68|
|July 20||vs Pittsburgh||
|July 27||AT Jacksonville||7:00pm|
Joe Hills caught a 3-yard touchdown pass on the game's final play to give the Storm a thrilling 65-62 win at Iowa Saturday night.
A safety, when Pernell Phillips sacked J.J. Raterink in the end zone, put Tampa Bay ahead 58-56 with :56 left. Tampa Bay just needed a first down to put away the game but Iowa made the stop, and then took the lead with 23 seconds to go.
Tampa Bay was out of timeouts but worked the clock perfectly, getting out of bounds on four straight plays -- the last to Chris Davis with only three-tenths of a second remaining. Adrian McPherson calmly picked out Hills crossing over to the right side of the end zone.
The Storm defense did not stop Iowa until the safety. The only time Tampa Bay took a possession was on an onsides kick that allowed it to tie the score at 49. Iowa had built a two-score advantage by recovering a McPherson fumble on one of its five sacks.
McPherson threw for 286 yards and six touchdowns, three to Hills (8-120). He also ran for 47 yards and three scores, the biggest a 20-yarder with three minutes left that made it 56-all. Davis had 10 catches for 89 yards and two score.
All of the action unfolded on WDAE with Jack Harris and Darek Sharp on the call. If you missed the excitement, tune in Tuesday night on 1250 WHNZ for the Storm Report, where all of the highlights will be replayed in the 7-7:30 range.
Tampa Bay is 7-4 and hosts Orlando next weekend.
The teams traded touchdowns to the tune of an Iowa 35-28 halftime lead. However Iowa was having a much easier time, with three of Tampa Bay's four scores coming on fourth down including a 38-yard score to Hills on 4th-and-20.
Davis, from St. Pete Catholic, had it tied early in the third quarter on a long score but Iowa answered back, then forced the turnover. Having not sniffed a stop at that point the Storm twice appeared to have one on the ensuing possession. First new DB Jerrell Gavins deflected a pass and Jean Fanor scooped it inches from the turf. However the official upon reviewing the play judged the ball to have touched the ground. Then on 3rd-and-goal Leroy Burgess got to Raterink for the game's first sack and a loss of 13, but the play was negated for offsides. When Iowa went up 49-35 on the next play it looked like defeat was coming the Storm's way.
McPherson's 3-yard touchdown run proved a key moment as former Storm Erick McIntosh was called for a personal foul. Knowing the 15-yard markoff would come after the kickoff Storm head coach Dave Ewart smartly went with the onside kick, and though Hills botched a uncontested recovery Claude Davis -- a new signee and Lake Gibson and USF grad -- was there to fall on it.
Davis had another critical play on a kickoff. The teams traded scores, Tampa Bay tying it with 3:00 left. On the next kickoff Davis tackled returner Marco Thomas at the Iowa 1-yard line. It actually looked like the Storm would take the lead on an interception return but James Harrell dropped a sure thing. The safety ended up being a better result because it allowed the Storm to take the lead and keep possession; Iowa even helped out with a questionable decision to kick deep with less than a minute to go.
Iowa looked smart for that decision with its stop and go-ahead score, only to be foiled by McPherson's heroics.
Tampa Bay was without three defensive backs -- its entire starting unit from three weeks ago. However Chris Smith, De'Audra Dix and Vance Cuff could all return in the next week or two.