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Key two weeks coming up for Tampa Bay Storm

TAMPA — The next two weeks are critical for the Storm (9-3) in terms of postseason positioning.

It visits Dallas on Friday and can lock up a playoff spot with a victory.

Thought by many at the beginning of the year to be one of the stronger teams in the league, Dallas has limped to a 1-11 season.

"(Dallas) has had some big-time injuries throughout the year that hurt them," Storm coach Tim Marcum said. "They've had some key players go down."

The most important of those injured players was former Storm QB Shane Stafford, who was lost for the season with a broken foot in the third quarter of the season opener. Backup Collin Drafts has been inconsistent, and during a nine-game losing streak, the Vigilantes have scored more than 55 points just three times and fewer than 38 three times.

The Storm, riding a seven-game winning streak, faces Jacksonville next week.

The Sharks are one game behind Tampa Bay in the South Division and were the last team to beat the Storm, 46-43 on May 7.

Marcum said he is concerned about his team looking past a weak Dallas team and ahead toward the big showdown with the Sharks.

"But it's something we just cannot do," he said. "So far this bunch has done a pretty good job of staying focused on this week."

Time Change: The Storm-Dallas game has been moved to 8:45 p.m. from its original 8 p.m. kickoff time. Fans can follow the game on 1250-AM, through niftytv.com or on the team's page at facebook.com.

You Better Recognize: QB Brett Dietz and WR Hank Edwards were awarded league offensive player of the week and highlight of the week awards, respectively, for their performances against Chicago last week.

Dietz continued his hot play, going 24-of-31 for 359 yards and eight touchdowns.

Edwards, who caught four of Dietz's scoring passes, earned his award in the third quarter. After catching a short slant, Edwards bowled over a pair of defenders — sending the helmet of one Rush defensive back flying — and dived into the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown.

Coaches Love the Storm: Tampa Bay claimed the top spot in the league coaches poll this week after its win against former No. 2 Chicago. The Storm, ranked third last week, got five first-place votes, compared with eight for No. 2 Spokane, and garnered 122 points to the Shock's 115.

. Up next

Storm at Dallas

When/where: 8:45 p.m. Friday, American Airlines Center, Dallas

Radio: 1250-AM

Tickets: (813) 301-6600, tampabaystorm.com

Key two weeks coming up for Tampa Bay Storm 07/07/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 11:27pm]

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