JACKSONVILLE — After jumping to a 21-13 lead Saturday, the Storm went scoreless for nearly a full half of play, losing 54-35 to the host Sharks in the regular-season Arena League finale for both teams.
Tampa Bay (2-14) plays at Philadelphia at 6 p.m. next Sunday in the first round of the playoffs.
Two long touchdown passes from Jason Boltus to T.T. Toliver and a 17-yard Nick Addison fumble return on a kickoff, all in the first quarter, had Tampa Bay poised for victory. But the offense managed just one touchdown from the next five possessions.
Tommy Grady threw for eight Jacksonville touchdowns. Tampa Bay's only stop was on a clock-shortened drive, right after the Storm had turned it over on downs at the Sharks 1-yard line late in the first half.
It was 27-21 Sharks at the break and Tampa Bay started with the ball but came up empty. Jacksonville went to fourth down twice on the ensuing drive but converted for a 34-21 lead, and was 4-for-4 on fourth downs in all.
Former Storm player Joe Hills had seven catches for 92 yards and four touchdowns. Boltus, returning for the Storm after missing two games with a back injury, was 17-of-36 against a steady rush.