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 tops Orlando Predators 63-62 to reach ArenaBowl

TAMPA — What looked to be a blowout turned into a frantic finish as the Storm held on to earn a berth in the ArenaBowl, defeating Orlando 63-62 in front of 10,104 Saturday night at the St. Pete Times Forum.

The American Conference champion Storm, seeking its sixth AFL title, travels to Spokane, Wash., to face the hometown Shock on Friday.

"We don't hang conference championship banners or division (banners)," Storm coach Tim Marcum said. "We're about winning the next game."

With the Predators trailing by one and the Storm at Orlando's 2-yard line, Kenny McEntyre intercepted Brett Dietz's pass in the end zone with 7.1 seconds left to keep Orlando's hopes alive. A few plays later, kicker Carlos Martinez, who earlier had missed a moved-back extra-point attempt that would have tied it at 63, left a 49-yard field-goal attempt short as time expired.

"Hail Mary, full of grace," Marcum said when asked what was going through his mind during that field-goal attempt. "I thought it was dead-on."

It was the second time this season the Storm (13-5) defeated the Predators. Tampa Bay won 62-50 on May 28 and lost 75-60 to close the regular season. "We got thumped the last time … and that stung," Dietz said.

The Storm's Terrence Royal scored on a 1-yard run with 8:54 left in the game, but Garrett Rivas shanked the extra-point attempt, so the Storm's advantage was 55-42.

Bobby Sippio's 4-yard touchdown catch cut Orlando's deficit to 55-49, and Dion Byrum made a diving interception on Tampa Bay's next possession and returned it to the Storm 7.

Then on fourth and goal, Orlando quarterback Nick Hill misfired on a pass in the end zone intended for Sippio, but the ball bounced off the lower right goal-post bar and into T.T. Toliver's arms for a 56-55 Orlando lead with a minute to play.

"That was a desperation throw," Marcum said. "That could have been a big play."

On the Storm's ensuing possession, Dietz (24-for-46 for 260 yards and seven touchdowns) hit Tyrone Timmons from 7 yards for a touchdown, then Royal for the two-point conversion to make it 63-56.

Orlando answered when Toliver caught his seventh TD pass of the night. But a pair of offside penalties pushed the extra-point attempt back 10 yards, and Martinez missed wide right.

Dietz drove the Storm to the 2 looking to ice the game, but on fourth down, his soft lob to Hank Edwards was intercepted by McEntyre, setting up the frantic ending and Martinez's kick.

"It was all so back and forth toward the end," Dietz said. "I had my head in my hands (on Martinez's final attempt)."

Storm 63

Predators 62

up next


Storm at Spokane; 8 p.m. Friday, Spokane (Wash.) Tribe Field

Tickets: Toll-free


TV: NFL Network

Tampa Bay Storm tops Orlando Predators 63-62 to reach ArenaBowl 08/14/10 [Last modified: Sunday, August 15, 2010 12:18am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    OF/DH Corey Dickerson missed out on a good birthday gift when AL player of the week honors went instead to Detroit's J.D. Martinez. Dickerson hit .385 with five homers, nine RBIs and nine runs; Martinez went .389-4-9-7 and got the nod.

  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb learning to work with what he has



    If this were 2012 or 2013, even 2014, RHP Alex Cobb would have problems. He would find himself working with only two of his three pitches, with the missing pitch being his trusty changeup.

    Alex Cobb, working mainly with his fastball and curveball, is 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA over his past five starts. The Rays right-hander tries to continue his strong stretch tonight against the Angels.
  4. Rays vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Angels

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Fennelly: This season's Chris Archer is a pleasure to watch

    The Heater


    At this time last season, through 10 starts, Rays pitcher Chris Archer was 3-5 on his way to 9-19.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, May 21, 2017.