PORTLAND, Ore. — The Storm failed miserably in its attempt to build on its first win of the season, instead handing Portland its first victory of the year, 68-35 at Moda Center on Friday night.
Portland, which entered the game worst in the Arena League with a minus-18 turnover margin, enjoyed a 6-1 advantage in that category Friday while jumping ahead 33-7 midway through the third quarter.
Storm quarterback Jason Boltus lost two fumbles — one was returned for a touchdown — and was intercepted twice. In the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay's Mike Washington fumbled twice on kickoffs, with one recovered in the end zone for a Portland score.
Portland (1-8) fumbled first. Quarterback Shane Austin coughed up the ball at the goal line on the game's first offensive play, but the Storm (1-8) couldn't capitalize.
Boltus' first lost fumble was taken back 31 yards for a score by Reggie Wilson for a 7-0 Portland lead at 10:54 of the first quarter. The next one set up a 23-yard scoring drive, and it was 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Twice Tampa Bay's defense came up with a stop to prevent a three-score deficit. James McClinton stuffed Austin on fourth and 1, giving Tampa Bay the ball inside Portland's 20-yard line with 18 seconds left in the first half. But Tampa Bay could not convert, and it trailed 21-7 at halftime.
The Storm had averaged 55 points in each of its previous three games.
Boltus finished 27-of-45 for 303 yards and four scores. He rushed six times for nine yards and two scores.
T.T. Toliver had 10 catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Toliver surpassed 15,000 career receiving yards. He has 15,108 yards and needs 27 yards to surpass Damian Harrell (15,134) to become the Arena League's all-time leader in receiving yards.
Austin was 19-of-26 for 139 yards and five touchdowns.