CLEVELAND — The Storm fought back from a bad first-half ending Friday night but fell to Cleveland 48-41.
Driving for a possible tying touchdown, the Storm's Amarri Jackson fumbled it away with three minutes left. A 29-yard touchdown catch by Thyron Lewis put the Gladiators up 48-34 at the 1-minute mark. Joe Hills answered two plays later with his third touchdown of the night, but Cleveland recovered the onside kick.
Tampa Bay (8-7) had its winning streak end at five. The Storm, which lost a chance to take the Southern Division lead, next plays July 11 at San Jose.
Cleveland (13-1) led 13-0 after a quarter, but the Storm still had a chance to lead at halftime. Instead, Cleveland's LaRoche Jackson picked off a deflected pass and ran it back 48 yards for a 27-14 lead with no time left.
In the third quarter Jackson's 36-yard touchdown catch from Randy Hippeard tied the score at 27. After the teams exchanged scores, a 46-yard catch-and-run by Collin Taylor put the Gladiators ahead for good.
LUTZ — Storm defensive coordinator and former Bucs defensive tackle Chris Hovan was arrested last week after an argument at his home turned physical, according to a criminal report affidavit.
Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies were called to Hovan's home on Ladera Estates Boulevard June 18 after he restrained the victim in the kitchen with his hands, the report said. Authorities said Hovan, 36, grabbed the victim's arms and pushed the victim into the kitchen pantry. The victim told a witness to call 911. Hovan took the phone during the call and took out the phone battery, the report said.
Hovan was charged with battery domestic violence, false imprisonment and tampering with a witness. He joined the Storm's staff last year and played in the NFL for the Vikings, Bucs (2005-09) and Rams.
Times staff writer Keeley Sheehan contributed to this report.