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Uncommon approach grinds out victory for Tampa Bay Storm

TAMPA — Who says Arena Football is all about the passing game?

Tampa Bay managed to do something it hadn't done in more than two decades in last week's season-opening 46-40 victory at New Orleans — win a game without throwing a touchdown pass.

"Sure, I guess you could call us a power running team," coach Dave Ewart said with a chuckle.

The last time the Storm pulled off this rare feat was a 27-24 win against Albany on July 14, 1990.

Michael Lindsey and Grant Gregory each ran for a pair of scores against New Orleans and Eric Ortiz added another on the ground. Lindsey had a kickoff return for the Storm's other touchdown.

"Running the ball is part of what we will do, and we work on it daily at practice," Ewart said. "And right now the running game is a little more advanced than the passing."

QB Mike Potts struggled in his first game with the Storm, completing 20 of 35 passes for 160 yards. He missed several open receivers but did not throw an interception.

"I have a philosophy that a win is a win is a win," Ewart said. "But we have to get better quarterback play."

Gregory to start: With Potts struggling, Ewart said that Gregory, a former USF quarterback, will get the start under center tonight in Salt Lake City.

"We're hoping Grant can give us a little spark," Ewart said. "We need to upgrade that position and have someone take control."

players recognized: Huey Whittaker and Cliff Dukes were honored by the league as the Ironman and defensive players of the week, respectively. Dukes recorded a team-record four sacks and added five tackles against the VooDoo. Whittaker, a former USF standout, caught 10 passes for 80 yards and recorded 2½ tackles.

Ortiz injured: The Storm's win against the VooDoo came at a price: Ortiz dislocated his left elbow.

The Storm placed Ortiz, a linebacker/fullback, on injured reserve, meaning he will miss at least the next four weeks. Ewart said he plans to use a platoon to replace Ortiz's Jack linebacker slot that will include DB Michael Hawthorne and Whittaker.


Storm at Utah Blaze

9, EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City Radio: 1250-AM

Uncommon approach grinds out victory for Tampa Bay Storm 03/16/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 9:19pm]
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