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 tops New Orleans in Arena League opener

Storm receiver-kickoff returner Michael Lindsey (10) has two catches, scores a touchdown, records an interception and returns seven kicks.

KENT NISHIMURA | Times

Storm receiver-kickoff returner Michael Lindsey (10) has two catches, scores a touchdown, records an interception and returns seven kicks.

TAMPA — So far, so good for Lawrence Samuels.

Related News/Archive

The first-year coach and former Storm star earned his first career win in his debut as Tampa Bay defeated South Division rival New Orleans 62-57 in its season opener before a crowd of 10,370 Friday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

"This was a confidence booster for the guys," Samuels said. "We faced some adversity and came through to win the game."

It was the first career victory for quarterback Randy Hippeard, who went 0-4 as a starter last season. The victory also helped to erase some of the bad memories left from an eight-game Storm losing skid to end 2013.

"It feels good to get that first one," Hippeard said. "I think we played well offensively, and it's always good to get that first win, especially for Coach Samuels."

Hippeard finished 18-for-27 for 288 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. Justin Hilton was Hippeard's main target, recording team highs in receptions (nine), yards (147) and TDs (four). "Justin came in a couple games after me last year, and we've had a connection ever since," Hippeard said.

All-Arena receiver Joe Hills, who set franchise records for receptions (133), receiving yards (1,861), receiving touchdowns (42) and points scored (262) in 2013, did not dress but is expected back next week.

The play of the game came with 11:12 to play. VooDoo backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, who went in for injured starter Kurt Rocco midway through the third quarter, attempted a sneak on fourth and 1. But the ball squirted loose, and defensive back Chris Smith returned it 42 yards for a TD, giving the Storm a two-score lead at 55-45.

Hippeard threw interceptions on the Storm's first two possessions but bounced back to finish the first half 9-for-14 for 146 yards and three TDs, all to Hilton. Tampa Bay's defense forced a turnover on downs thanks to a Richard Clebert sack and picked off two passes, and Rod Issac recovered a fumbled kickoff in the end zone for a TD, helping the Storm to a 34-31 halftime lead.

Michael Lindsey and Smith each had an interception for the Storm. Uriah Grant and Clebert finished with a sack apiece.

The night started with a tribute to former Storm coach Tim Marcum, who died in December. Storm radio's Jack Harris, team president Derrick Brooks and AFL commissioner Jerry Kurz spoke. It was announced that all teams will wear a "TM" sticker on their helmets this season and there will be a moment of silence before each game on opening weekend. In addition, there was a video tribute, and a banner honoring Marcum was hung in Section 128.

"I give credit to Derrick Brooks and the organization for putting on a display like that," Samuels said. "(Marcum's) legacy will stand forever."

Storm tops New Orleans in Arena League opener 03/14/14 [Last modified: Saturday, March 15, 2014 12:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 27: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates hitting a two-run home run as Derek Norris #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the eighth inning of the game on May 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010973
  2. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  3. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  4. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  5. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]