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TONIGHT: STORM VS. ORLANDO

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30; Ice Palace, Tampa.

TV/RADIO: Sunshine; WDAE-AM 1250.

RECORDS: Orlando 7-7, Tampa Bay 11-3.

COACHES: Orlando _ Jay Gruden (19-12, second season). Tampa Bay _ Tim Marcum (117-29, 11th season).

LAST GAME: Eighth-seeded Orlando clinched a playoff berth with a 48-40 win over Buffalo. Top-seeded Tampa Bay wrapped up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a 54-20 victory over New England.

NOTES: The Storm leads the series 12-10 and beat Orlando twice during the regular season. Tampa Bay also won twice last season before losing to the Predators 62-31 in the ArenaBowl. Gruden said his former backup with the Storm, Connell Maynor, will start at quarterback for the Predators. Maynor, who was with the Storm from 1994-96, had been third string, but was forced into action July 23 after injuries to Pat O'Hara (shoulder) and Browning Nagle (wrist). O'Hara is out, but Nagle, a Pinellas Park High graduate, will be available off the bench. Johnnie Compton, a 44-year-old Tampa resident who is awaiting a liver transplant, will be the Storm's honorary captain. Donations to the Johnnie Compton Fund can be made at the Ice Palace during the game. Marcum must decide between George LaFrance and Wayne Walker at the backup OS spot. LaFrance sat out Monday.

_ CHRIS ROTAR

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