Sunday, April 06, 2014

Soul can't weather the storm in Tampa

TAMPA – The Tampa Bay Storm (3-1) jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead and didn’t look back as they defeated the Philadelphia Soul, 63-49, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Friday night in front of 11,102 fans.

“We have to play consistent football and we have failed to do that across the board,” said Soul head coach Clint Dolezel.  “We need players to step up and perform the way we are used to.  We will review the game and address the areas we need to in order to get this pointed in the right direction.”

Ryan McDaniel led all Philadelphia receivers with a season-high 14 receptions for 138 yards and three touchdowns.  Tiger Jones added nine receptions for 94 yards and three touchdowns.  Robert Redd had six catches for 77 yards, while Larry Brackins added a 10-yard reception.  Derrick Ross finished with five rushing yards and added two receptions for 16 yards.

Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh finished the night with his best showing of the season by completing 32-of-47 passes for 335 yards and six touchdowns and one interception.

Defensively, Rayshaun Kizer finished with 4.5 total tackles and two pass break ups, Joe Goosby had 4.5 total tackles and an interception return for a touchdown.  Brandon Perkins added 2.5 total tackles, a tackle for a loss and a pass deflection.

Tampa Bay QB Randy Hippeard finished completing 22-of-35 passes for 276 yards and seven touchdowns.  Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game Amari Jackson had 10 receptions for 143 yards and three touchdowns, while Justin Hilton finished with six receptions for 59 yards and two touchdowns.

The Storm came out and scored on their first drive of the game with Hippeard hooked with Samuel Tranks on a 26-yard scoring strike.  The Soul moved the ball effectively in their first drive, but it was ended when Ross fumbled inside the Tampa Bay 10-yard line.  The Storm capitalized when Hippeard connected with Dexter Jackson on an 11-yard screen play for the final score of the first quarter and gave the Storm a 14-0 advantage.

The Soul got on the board when Raudabaugh found Jones on a 6-yard scoring strike to make it 14-7 with 14:19 remaining in the first half.  The Soul, trying to take advantage of a penalty on the touchdown, tried an on-sides kick that was returned five yards by Chris Smith for a Storm touchdown and gave Tampa Bay a 21-7 lead.

Raudabaugh and Jones connected again on a six-yard pass play and narrowed the score to 21-14 with 11:43 left in the second.  Hippeard found Justin Hilton on a 22-yard score to push it to a 28-14 Storm advantage.  After the Soul turned it over on downs, Tampa took advantage with a Hippeard to Jackson 18-yard touchdown with 2:49 left in the half.  The Soul was able to drain the clock and end the first half scoring when Raudabaugh hit McDaniel on a 2-yard score.  The Storm led at the half, 35-21.

Jones opened the third with a 20-yard touchdown reception from Raudabaugh to make it 35-28 with 12:39 left in the third.  Tampa Bay then got a pair of touchdowns from Jackson (14 yards) and Hilton (17 yards) to make the score 49-28 at the end of the third quarter.

The Soul outscored the Storm 21-14 in the final quarter thanks to a 7-yard interception return by Goosby and a pair of McDaniel touchdowns – 10 and 13 yards.  The final score ended up, Storm 63, Soul 49.

The Philadelphia Soul will stay in Florida and head to Orlando to play the Orlando Predators (3-1) on Thursday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m.   The game can be seen on The Comcast Network.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player: Tampa Bay’s Amarri Jackson
Riddell Defensive Player: Tampa Bay’s Chris Smith
J Lewis Small AFL Playmaker: Tampa Bay’s Chris Smith
Cutter’s Catch of the Game: Tampa Bay’s Justin Hilton’s second quarter TD
Spalding Highlight of the Game: Tampa Bay’s Chris Smith INT at the goal line
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