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)

Tampa Bay Storm defeats Georgia Force 50-47

Storm receiver Chandler WIlliams dives into the end zone for one of his two scores against the Georgia Force. Williams’ receiving partner Prechae Rodriguez piles up catches (11) and yards (164) in a milestone victory for the franchise.

SCOTT AUDETTE | Special to the Times

Storm receiver Chandler WIlliams dives into the end zone for one of his two scores against the Georgia Force. Williams’ receiving partner Prechae Rodriguez piles up catches (11) and yards (164) in a milestone victory for the franchise.

TAMPA — It took 10 weeks for new Storm coach Dave Ewart to win a home game last season. This year it only took two, with a dash of history mixed in.

Related News/Archive

The Storm, wearing new blue home uniforms, became the first team in Arena Football League history to reach 200 regular-season wins, defeating visiting division-rival Georgia 50-47 before a rowdy crowd of 16,054 Friday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

"We have the best fans in the country," Ewart said. "We're a lot better football team at home."

The crowd was the largest to see a Storm game since Week 18 against Orlando in 2010. The largest home crowd last season was 12,226.

"Personally, this is largest home crowd I've played in cheering for me," said Storm quarterback Stephen Wasil, who played at Division III Albion (Mich.). "It was awesome."

After a 70-48 loss at Chicago, the Storm played with the lead the entire game Friday and evened its 2012 record at 1-1. It is 200-116 overall in regular-season games.

Wasil hit receiver Chandler Williams with an 11-yard touchdown on the Storm's first possession, and Tampa Bay extended the lead to 21 at one point in the third quarter.

Georgia scored twice in the final minute to cut the lead to three with 12 seconds to play, but Prechae Rodriguez swatted the Force's onside kick out of bounds and the Storm ran out the clock.

Wasil was a bit shaky in the first half, going 13-for-28 for 155 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception. But he bounced back in the final two quarters, going 12-for-17 for 143 yards and two TDs.

"I was rushing myself in the first half and was pressing," Wasil said. "I settled down in the second and wasn't trying to make the perfect pass."

With Amarri Jackson out for the second straight game, Rodriguez was again Wasil's favorite target. The former Jefferson High wideout caught 11 passes for 164 and a touchdowns after hauling in 12 balls for 186 yards and three scores last week against Chicago.

"Prechae made some big plays again," Wasil said.

Tampa Bay's defense was impressive in the first half, holding the Force to 13 points. The Storm got an interception from Riley Swanson and stopped Georgia on three of four possessions.

"We put in some things trying to force them to go over the top," Ewart said.

The Storm reeled off 20 straight first-half points to take control. Wasil found Williams for the second time in the half, this time from 23 yards out to give the Storm a 14-6 lead with 10:32 left in the second quarter.

C.J. Johnson then mishandled the ensuing kick off and former Buc Mark Jones pounced on the ball in the end zone.

After another defensive stop, Michael Lindsey ran off right tackle from 3 yards out for a 27-6 Storm lead.

.Up next

Storm vs. Jacksonville

7:30 p.m. March 30, Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa Radio: 620-AM

Storm 50

Georgia 47

XXXXXX



Tampa Bay Storm defeats Georgia Force 50-47 03/16/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 17, 2012 12:35am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:34: Cash said he has been pleased with Sucre's work and is trying to find playing time for him. ... Cash also said after reading Farquhar's comments about having trouble re-focusing after getting out of a jam and then going back out for a second inning he will factor that in to how he uses him. ... …

  2. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  3. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  4. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”