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 hopes to end road woes at Cleveland Gladiators

TAMPA — The good news is the Storm is undefeated at home in 2012. The bad news is the Storm is winless on the road.

Related News/Archive

It will try to change that losing trend tonight when the Storm (5-4) hosts Cleveland (5-3).

"If I knew why (we are winless on the road), I'd be a rich man," coach Dave Ewart said.

Tampa Bay has lost its four road games by an average of 19.75 points, and that's counting a three-point loss at Georgia.

"Everyone plays better at home, but I think it's a matter of focus for us," Ewart said. "We have to be better."

Scouting Cleveland: Tampa Bay defeated the Gladiators 69-48 on April 13, and the Storm holds a 7-4 advantage in the all-time series. Coming off consecutive victories, Cleveland is 12th in the league in scoring at 52.6 points per game. It has been particularly good in two key aspects: protecting the quarterback (allowed league-low three sacks) and third-down efficiency (league-best 61.1 percent).

"They have a veteran QB (John Dutton) who's seen it all," Ewart said. "And they're a playoff team from last year that's managed to stick together at all the key positions."

Cleveland is first in the league in total defense and gives up an AFL-best 47.5 points per game.

Top rookie? compiled a list of potential award winners at the season's midway point and WR Prechae Rodriguez was one of five leading candidates for rookie of the year. Rodriguez, a Jefferson High graduate, leads all rookies with 72 catches for 967 yards and 24 touchdowns. He has multiple TDs in six straight games.

Watch the clock: In the Storm's earlier victory over Cleveland the big swing came near the end of the first half. The score was tied at 21 with 3:46 left in the first half, and Cleveland had the ball and would get the first possession of the second half as well. But instead of milking the clock, Cleveland scored too quickly, going up 27-21 with more than a minute to play. WR Amarri Jackson, who played at USF, caught a 44-yard touchdown pass from Stephen Wasil, and two plays later Lendy Holmes had a 53-yard interception return for a touchdown to put Tampa Bay ahead 34-27. The Storm had another interception during the Gladiators' first possession of the second half.

"It was huge because it created two possessions for us," Ewart said. "That last minute, when you don't have the ball coming out of the second half, you've got to finish with the football or you're letting them get two for one. We were able to do that, play the last minute right, and it worked out for us."


Storm at Cleveland

7:30, Quicken Loans Arena Radio: 1250-AM

Tampa Bay Storm hopes to end road woes at Cleveland Gladiators 05/18/12 [Last modified: Friday, May 18, 2012 9:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa lawyer Fred Ridley to be new chairman of Augusta National, Masters' home (w/ video)


    AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fred Ridley first came to Augusta National to compete in the 1976 Masters as the U.S. Amateur champion, and he played the opening round in the traditional pairing with the defending champion, Jack Nicklaus.

  2. Rays send down Chase Whitley, Andrew Kittredge; add Chih-Wei Hu, activate Alex Cobb


    After having to cover more than five innings following a short start by Austin Pruitt, the Rays shuffled their bullpen following Wednesday's game, sending down RHPs Chase Whitley and Andrew Kittredge,

    The Kittredge move was expected, as he was summoned to add depth to the pen Wednesday in advance of RHP Alex …

  3. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred moves closer to wanting a decision on Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred called Wednesday for urgency from Tampa Bay area government leaders to prioritize and move quicker on plans for a new Rays stadium.

    MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred talks with reporters at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    The Austin Pruitt experiment might be over, or at least put on pause. After allowing six runs over seven innings to Seattle on Friday, the rookie didn't get through the fourth Wednesday, giving up five runs on four homers. His ERA for past six starts: 5.29.

  5. Six home runs doom Rays in loss to Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — A curve that didn't bounce was the difference Wednesday as the Rays lost 7-6 to the Blue Jays in front of 8,264, the smallest Tropicana field crowd since Sept. 5, 2006.

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (11) greets center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) at the plate after his two run home run in the third inning of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.