Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Storm earns first victory, snapping seven-game skid

TAMPA — T.T. Toliver became the second player to catch 100 touchdowns with two teams near the end of Sunday's game against Arizona. But his 101st, in the final seconds, was the catch that finally ended the Storm's misery.

Toliver made a sensational over-the-shoulder grab for a 28-yard touchdown with three seconds left as Tampa Bay snapped its seven-game losing streak to start the season by defeating visiting Arizona 63-56 at Amalie Arena in front of an announced 8,298.

"I'll take him at 45 where I'm at right now," Storm coach Lawrence Samuels said of the 39-year-old Toliver. "He's an ageless wonder."

The victory ended the worst start in team history. Dating to last season, the Storm had lost 13 of its previous 14.

"First time you guys have seen me smile all year," Samuels said. "We've been close the last few weeks but didn't finish. Tonight, we finished."

Toliver's 9-yard touchdown catch on fourth and goal, the 100th of his Storm career, put his club up 56-48 with 48 seconds to play. The 13-year veteran also recorded 148 scores while with Orlando.

But Arizona pulled within two on Rod Windsor's 21-yard touchdown catch with 21 seconds left. The Storm twice appeared to stop Arizona (6-3) on the two-point conversion, but Tampa Bay was flagged for a pass interference and an offside. Arizona quarterback Nick Davila eventually snuck it in from the 1 to tie it.

Tampa Bay took over and after an 11-yard completion to Toliver and an incomplete pass to Philip Barnett, Jason Boltus (24-of-39 for 358 yards and six touchdowns) lofted a back-shoulder lob to Toliver, who reached over the side wall to haul in the winner.

"I can't be the one to say whether it was a spectacular catch (or not)," Toliver said. "All I can say it was a good throw. Right there."

The Storm twice forced fourth-quarter turnovers on downs to help turn a seven-point deficit into a 14-point lead. Cortez Stubbs picked off his team-high third pass of the year and the Storm recorded a pair of sacks, with the second coming from Everett Dawkins to end a series and set up Toliver's first of two touchdowns.

Toliver finished with team highs in catches (nine) and yards (182). Julius Gregory and Barnett (three touchdowns) each caught seven balls for the Storm. Wide receiver Gerald Young was activated from injured reserve and had two touchdowns, one receiving and one on a kickoff return.

Storm earns first victory, snapping seven-game skid 05/29/16 [Last modified: Sunday, May 29, 2016 11:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Kids still playing for all the marbles — literally

    Human Interest

    In this world of pompous athletes, overbearing coaches, money-grubbing owners and a win-at-all-costs mindset, it's easy to become jaded.

    Eli Murphy, right, leans in to give Sierra Ricci the traditional king and queen kiss at the National Marbles Championship in Wildwood, N.J. Both of Allegheny County Pa., they won the girls and boys championship of the 94th annual National Marbles Tournament. [Associated Press]
  2. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  3. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  4. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    fit test: Top draft pick Cal Foote puts on his Lightning jersey.
  5. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.