Make us your home page

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 falls 67-61 at home to Dallas Vigilantes

Dallas’ Chris LeFlore, center, intercepts a pass intended for the Storm’s Hank Edwards in the end zone as Chris Brown helps.


Dallas’ Chris LeFlore, center, intercepts a pass intended for the Storm’s Hank Edwards in the end zone as Chris Brown helps.

TAMPA — The biggest crowd of the season showed up Saturday for the Storm game, many still buzzing from victories by the Lightning and Rays earlier in the day and looking for a sweep from Tampa Bay area teams. But for the third time in as many home games, Storm fans left the St. Pete Times Forum disappointed.

Tampa Bay came unglued just before halftime and the sloppy play carried into the third quarter as Dallas defeated the Storm 67-61 before 12,226.

"It's frustrating, but I thought the guys fought until the very end," coach Dave Ewart said. "We've got some things to clean up, and I'm not sure how we're going to do that right now."

The Storm's early second-half struggles continued. Tampa Bay has yet to top seven points in any third quarter this season and has been outscored 86-26.

"I don't know what it is and why we're having trouble in the third," Ewart said.

The Storm looked like it might buck its trend of third-quarter woes, recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half. Four plays later, Grant Gregory (24-of-42 for 275 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions) found Huey Whittaker (15 catches, 195 yards, five touchdowns) on a 4-yard score to make it 34-33 Storm.

But Dallas reeled off 20 consecutive points, punctuated by Dusty Bear's recovery in the end zone on another botched kickoff. The Storm did not get closer than 12 points until Michael Lindsey caught a 33-yard TD on the game's final play.

"They scored two (touchdowns) off special teams and another from their defense," Ewart said. "We just gave them those 21 points."

Tampa Bay scored on its first four possessions, including a pair of TD strikes from Gregory to Whittaker. Fullback Eric Ortiz's 1-yard TD run gave the Storm its biggest margin of the half at 27-12 with 6:26 to play.

But after Derrick Ross' 2-yard TD plunge, Gregory threw interceptions on consecutive possessions. The first was a botched screen that Dallas defensive lineman Justin Warren returned 15 yards for a TD to cut the Storm lead to 27-26.

On the next possession, Gregory was again intercepted. Tampa Bay's defense held, and Remy Hamilton's 44-yard field goal try caromed off the crossbar, but Greg Ryan recovered in the end zone to make it 33-27 Dallas.

"That took all of our momentum away," Ewart said. "I mean, we get the stop and the guy misses the field goal then that happens."

Dallas 67

Storm 61

.Up next

Storm at Milwaukee

When/where: 8 p.m. Saturday; Bradley Center, Milwaukee

Tampa Bay Storm falls 67-61 at home to Dallas Vigilantes 04/23/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 23, 2011 11:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Snell to rejoin rotation Wednesday



  2. For starters: Rays lineup vs Orioles



  3. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  4. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.