Sunday, January 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Storm

Storm beats New Orleans

TAMPA — Storm quarterback Adrian McPherson continued his dominance of the Arena Football League and Tampa Bay's defense played its best game of the season as it hammered New Orleans 63-32 in front of an announced crowd of 10,114 Saturday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The win, coupled with Jacksonville's loss to Arizona, moved Tampa Bay within a game of first place in the South Division.

It was the Storm's third straight victory at home and raised its record to 5-2, 2-1 in the division. New Orleans fell to 1-5 and 1-2.

McPherson, who was named the league's offensive player of the week for the second time this season after a 10-touchdown performance against Spokane on April 27, operated the offense flawlessly. The former Florida State star led the Storm to touchdowns on all eight offensive possessions.

McPherson finished 13 of 16 passing for 197 yards and four touchdowns, and he rushed six times for 29 yards and four more scores.

The four rushing TDs brought McPherson's league-leading total to 21. The league record for a season by a quarterback is 22, set by Ryan Vena in 2010.

Greg Ellingson had two touchdown catches, and Michael Lindsey and former St. Petersburg Catholic and FSU star Chris Davis each had one.

Davis — starting for Joe Hills, who was placed on the other league exempt list after accepting an invitation to the Carolina Panthers' rookie camp Thursday — had a season-high six catches for a team-best 68 years.

Tampa Bay's defense held the opposition to a season-low 32 points and forced two turnovers on downs in the first half that helped the Storm build a 35-13 halftime lead. Vance Cuff also jumped a route along the boards and took an interception 30 yards for a score in the second quarter.

The Storm picked off two passes in all — De'Audra Dix had the other — bringing its league-leading turnover total to 22 for the season. Tampa Bay has intercepted multiple passes in five of its six games.

New Orleans quarterback Bill Stull was 27-of-45 for 265 yards and also three touchdowns.

Pernell Phillips notched two of the Storm's season-high four sacks.

For the second time in three weeks, the Storm is out West on Fdriday when it faces San Jose.