TAMPA — In a game filled with turnovers, Tampa Bay recovered the biggest one with less than a minute to play to defeat Milwaukee 63-55 Saturday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in front of 10,406.
The victory ran Tampa Bay's home record to 6-0 and ended a two-game skid. There were 11 turnovers in the game, with the Storm (6-5) committing five. Tampa Bay recovered four fumbles and intercepted two passes.
"When you create six turnovers but the game is still back and forth, it can be frustrating," said defensive back Riley Swanson, who recovered a fumble for a touchdown and intercepted a pass. "But we kept our composure and held on."
With the Storm nursing a 56-55 lead, Milwaukee's Deivon Tate picked off Stephen Wasil (18-for-31, 210 yards, five touchdowns, two interceptions) with just more than four minutes to play to give the Mustangs the ball at their own 7. But on third down, Mustangs quarterback Gino Guidugli fumbled the snap and the Storm's Lendy Holmes recovered with 56 seconds left. Two plays later, former USF receiver Amarri Jackson (six catches, 85 yards) hauled in his third touchdown of the game to seal it.
Tampa Bay ran out to a 16-0 lead thanks to a safety on the first play from scrimmage and a pair of Wasil scoring passes.
But trailing 35-21, Milwaukee (3-7) reversed course in the second half. The Storm turned the ball over on consecutive possessions, and Jared Jenkins converted both miscues into touchdown receptions to tie it at 35.
The Storm retook the momentum when Chandler Williams took a kickoff 56 yards for a score. Deonte Bolden batted away a fourth-down pass on Milwaukee's next drive, and Jackson made it 49-35 with a 21-yard TD catch.
"Sometimes the wheels start to come off the bus," Storm coach Dave Ewart said. "Fortunately we were able to keep ours on just enough."
A scary moment delayed the game with just more than five minutes to play. Bolden collided headfirst with a side wall and lay still for several minutes. He was taken off on a stretcher but raised an arm as he was being wheeled off. Bolden was taken to Tampa General for evaluation.
The Storm travels to Jacksonville to play the Sharks at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tampa Bay beat the Sharks 71-69 in Week 3.