Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Tampa Bay Storm

Toliver gets Arena Football receiving record in Storm loss

TAMPA — The only drama was when the record would fall.

T.T. Toliver became the Arena Football League's all-time receptions leader but Los Angeles left Amalie Arena with the victory, 54-27 over the Storm before an announced 9,670 Saturday night.

Toliver entered the game five receptions behind Damian Harrell, but it took until midway through the fourth quarter for him to eclipse the record. On first and 10 from the Storm 14, quarterback Jason Boltus hit Toliver on a 22-yard flag route near the right boards. Toliver now has 1,165 career receptions, with six catches for 91 yards in the game.

"I love to just see the man practice," receiver Michael Lindsey said of Toliver. "He goes hard. Every single day."

It has been quite a two-week stretch for the 13-year veteran. Toliver, 39, set the league's all-time receiving yardage record last week against Jacksonville. And the league's oldest player is just 71 yards short of Barry Wagner's AFL all-purpose yardage record (21,042).

"(Toliver's) an inspiration," coach Lawrence Samuels said. "He's a special guy."

As for the game, it wasn't much of one. Los Angeles scored on its first eight possessions while the Storm could only muster one first-half touchdown. Tampa Bay (1-10) turned the ball over on downs on two straight first-half possessions and Boltus threw interceptions on the next two as L.A. (5-6) took a 41-6 lead into halftime.

"It snowballed on us," Samuels said. "It's like a scratched record. I feel like I'm saying the same thing over and over again."

Ball security has been at the heart of Tampa Bay's offensive woes. Boltus has been picked off seven times in the past three games along with three fumbles.

"Every week it's mistakes with us," Samuels said. "When we make mistakes, they are glaring and they happen at a rapid pace."

The Storm is on the verge of etching its name into the team record books — for all the wrong reasons. Tampa Bay would have to win all five remaining games to prevent finishing with the fewest wins ever in a season. The 2002 team finished 6-8.