GazetteXtra Print Article Logo URL: http://www.tampabay.com/sports/football/storm/storm-winning-streak-ends-at-six/2327667


Storm winning streak ends at six

By Darek Sharp, Times Correspondent

PHILADELPHIA — The Storm saw its six-game winning streak end with a thud, losing 62-41 to defending Arena League champion Philadelphia on Saturday.

The Soul (9-0) has won 13 straight overall and likely has locked up the No. 1 seed for the playoffs in August.

Tampa Bay (7-2) is in good stead for the No. 2 seed and a home playoff game, but it has a way to go to compete with Philadelphia, based on Saturday's showing.

Tampa Bay was stopped five times on offense. It turned the ball over on a fumble by Joe Hills and later on downs after consecutive Beau Bell sacks as the Soul took a 28-7 lead.

A goal-line stand set up Hills' 26-yard touchdown that pulled Tampa Bay within 28-21 at the half. But with a chance to tie the score starting off the third quarter, the Storm went four and out, and it was outscored 20-7 in the period.

Hills finished with 12 catches for 161 yards and four touchdowns. Storm quarterback Randy Hippeard was sacked four times and went 28-of-45 yards for 324 yards and six scores. Kendrick Ings had 10 catches for 103 yards.

Darius Reynolds caught five touchdown passes on his first five receptions to pace the Soul offense. Fullback Mykel Benson added four rushing scores, surpassing 100 for his career.

Tampa Bay has a bye before hosting Washington on July 1. Hills will be looking to break the Arena League record for touchdowns in consecutive games; he sits at 77 after Saturday.

One more win in its final five games, or losses by Cleveland and Baltimore, clinches a home playoff date for the Storm.