Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Arena League: Tampa Bay Storm defeats Kansas City Command 46-30

TAMPA — Something had to give when the Storm hosted Kansas City on Friday night.

Related News/Archive

The Command entered the contest having given up the second-most points in the AFL this season. The Storm has been almost as generous, ranking fourth in points allowed.

While the final score didn't indicate a high octane affair, the Storm made some plays then capitalized on some luck as Tampa Bay gave the crowd of 11,172 at the St. Pete Times Forum a 46-30 win for its first home victory of the season.

"We were able to take care of the football and cut down on our mistakes," coach Dave Ewart said. "It was good to get a win in front of our home fans and the guys played hard. Our fans deserve it."

The Storm, which led 27-16 at halftime, seemed on the verge of another third-quarter collapse when the Command capitalized on a good kickoff return and scored within three plays when quarterback J.J. Raterink hit Aaron Hosack for a 5-yard score to cut the deficit to 27-23.

Tampa Bay (3-6) drove within field goal range on its next series and took advantage even when Kyle Chilton missed both field goals; Jermaine Smith recovered a ball off the net on both attempts.

"Just make a play, that's all I was trying to do," Smith said. "It was nice I was able to make two of them."

Brian Zbydniewski (26-of-44 for 277 yards, six touchdowns) then completed a 9-yard pass in the end zone to former USF receiver Amarri Jackson (14 catches, 187 yards, four touchdowns) for a 33-23 lead.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the Storm prevented the Command (2-7) from scoring when Hosack had his first fumble of the season when he mishandled a handoff from Raterink. Tampa Bay recovered and Zbydniewski hit Jackson again six plays later on a 5-yard score.

The Zbydniewski-to-Jackson connection happened one more time late in the game as the Storm rumbled to its first home victory since late last season.

"We just took what the defense was giving us," said Zbydniewski, who followed up his previous start in which he had three interceptions while throwing for 304 yards with no mistakes. "They were playing a lot of zone and we have some great receivers. If I can just get the ball into their hands, we'll be pretty successful as an offense. We have a good connection right now and it's all about keeping it going."

Tampa Bay again got off to a good start, leading 14-3 lead after the first quarter. Zbydniewski found Jackson in the right corner of the end zone on a 20-yard strike on the Storm's first drive.

Tampa Bay 46

Kansas City 30

Arena League: Tampa Bay Storm defeats Kansas City Command 46-30 05/13/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 13, 2011 11:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays scored that many in a single game during their two-plus week numbing stretch of offensive impotency, and in a home game in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi has another short outing in loss

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jake Odorizzi turned in another short outing Saturday, failing to pitch four innings during the Rays' 7-6 loss.

    Wearing white armbands, umpire Chris Guccione (68), left, Carlos Torres (37)(not wearing armband), center facing, Dana DeMuth (32) center right, and Paul Nauert (39) talk before the start of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. The World Umpires Association announced that umpires will be wearing white wristbands during all games to protest escalating verbal attacks on umpires and their strong objection to the Office of the Commissioner?€š€™s response to the attacks.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?