Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Tampa Bay Storm

Storm woes continue, but Toliver sets Arena Football record

TAMPA — The last time the home fans saw the Storm, the team was celebrating its first win of the season after a 63-56 upset of first-place Arizona on May 29.

It was a far different story Saturday night

Jacksonville went on a 28-0 run in about an 11-minute first-half stretch to seize control en route to a 67-34 win over Tampa Bay in front of an announced 8,418 at Amalie Arena.

"We did not show up at all," Storm coach Lawrence Samuels said. "All phases of the game. We have some evaluating to do."

For the second week in a row, the Storm (1-9) got off to a poor start. Last week, Tampa Bay trailed 21-7 against winless Portland at halftime before eventually losing 68-25.

On Saturday, it trailed the Sharks 47-14 at halftime.

"If I knew why, I'd correct it right then," Samuels said of the slow starts. "I guarantee as a staff we'll go back and evaluate the tape and find out why. Shouldn't happen two weeks in a row."

The lone bright spot for the Storm came when T.T. Toliver hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, moving the wideout into first place on the Arena League's all-time list for receiving yards. Toliver has 15,232 yards in 13 seasons.

"T.T. is a great player," Storm wideout Phillip Barnett said. "He's going to keep breaking records, and I'm happy to be a part of it."

Toliver finished the game with eight catches for 124 yards and three touchdowns. He needs five receptions to surpass Hall of Famer Damian Harrell (1,164) for first place on the AFL's all-time list.

"(Toliver) is a special guy," Samuels said. "He deserves everything coming to him, and I know he's going to continue to fight with me."

The Storm offense had all kinds of trouble in the first half. Quarterback Jason Boltus tossed a pair of interceptions and both were returned for touchdowns. Jacksonville (5-5) also forced a turnover on downs.

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