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Storm passes and defends well in scrimmage victory

The Storm entered Sunday's scrimmage against Orlando hoping to shore up three areas weakened by free agency: quarterback, pass rush and defensive backfield.

"So far, so good," coach Tim Marcum said after the Storm defeated the Predators 50-33 before about 1,000 at the St. Pete Times Forum. "It's only a scrimmage, but I like the way things turned out."

Quarterback Shane Stafford threw touchdown passes on each of his four possessions, and the Storm made good on seven of 10 in all.

Stafford, expected to return to the starting role after John Kaleo signed with Austin, completed 11-of-18 passes for 181 yards in his first Arena Football League outing since 2002.

"It felt good; I was excited to be back," said Stafford, who played in NFL Europe last season. "I had a lot of juice coming in on the first couple throws."

Pat O'Hara, who threw two touchdowns in relief of Kaleo in last season's ArenaBowl, was 5-for-9 for 143 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Former NFL quarterback Stoney Case was 6-for-9 for 87 yards and two TDs.

Emil Ekiyor sacked Connell Maynor for a safety to anchor a defensive line that lost B.J. Cohen and Al Lucas to free agency and was without Kelvin Kinney and Shawn King, who have strained groins.

Marcum said he was pleased with the pass protection as well as the play of veterans Del Lee and Shea Showers in a revamped secondary that lost defensive specialists Omarr Smith and Corey Sawyer to free agency.

"Those veterans that have been in this league awhile looked like it, played like it," Marcum said. "Some of our rookies looked like rookies."

Orlando starter and former Bucs quarterback Joe Hamilton was 13 of 18 for 122 yards and two touchdowns in his first Arena appearance.

Predators offensive specialist Travis McGriff (hamstring) and defensive specialist Kenny McEntyre (sore right ankle) did not play.

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