KENDRICK INGS, RANDY HIPPEARD LEAD STORM TO HOME PLAYOFF GAME
The Tampa Bay Storm (8-2) courageously came from behind with two touchdowns in the final 40 seconds, then the Storm defense stepped up to close out an inspired Washington Valor (1-9) defense Saturday before a rousing 9,913 at Amalie Arena.
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The Storm came away with a 55-51 victory. The Storm will open the postseason at home for the first time since the 2010 season.
Storm quarterback Randy Hippeard led a gallant charge at the end, scoring one touchdown and passing for another to Michael Lindsey for 12 yards with 40 seconds left in the game. That touchdown closed the Valor’s 10-point lead to 51-48.
Storm defensive back LaRoche Jackson recovered an onside kick with 37.8 seconds left in regulation. Hippeard would drive the team down the field, completing a 4-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Ings for the go-ahead score, 55-51.
Former 2016 AFL Defensive Player of the Year, Tracy Belton had a fumble recovery in the end zone – as Tampa Bay was about to score — and returned it 54 yards. Belton, who was with Philadelphia last season, intercepted a pass Hippeard pass with 5:20 left in the third and the Valor drove
The Valor then scored back-to back touchdowns, cutting the lead to 27-25. Brackett, in his fifth game of the season, connected with Greg Carr (24) and Roger Jackson (39 yards), and also ran a score in from 8 yards.
The Tampa Bay Storm return to action Saturday, July 8 in Cleveland versus the Gladiators (3-8). The game is set to kickoff at 7:00 p.m. ET and can be viewed on Twitter via #GoLive.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Total
Washington Valor 12 19 13 7 51
Tampa Bay Storm 20 14 0 21 55
WAS – Greg Carr 24 pass from Sean Brackett (kick failed) 11:36.
TAM – Justin Hilton 36 pass from Randy Hippeard (kick failed) 10:06.
WAS – Roger Jackson 39 pass from Brackett (kick blocked) 8:37.
TAM – Kendrick Ings 56 kickoff return (Mark Lewis kick) 7:35.
TAM – Michael Lindsey 3 net recovery (Lewis kick) 6:45.
TAM – Hilton 5 pass from Hippeard (Lewis kick) 12:44.
WAS – Brackett 8 run (Josh Gamble kick) 8:35.
WAS – T.T. Toliver 6 Run (pass failed) 00:39.
TAM – Ings 6 pass from Hippeard (Lewis kick) 00.06.
WAS – Charles McClain 54 kickoff return (pass failed) 00:00.
WAS – Tracy Belton 54 fumble return (pass failed) 11:55.
WAS – McLain 11 run, lateral from Jackson after 17 pass from Brackett. (Gamble kick) 00:15.
TAM – Hippeard 1 run (Lewis kick) 8:23.
WAS – Toliver 7 pass from Brackett. (Gamble kick) 2:13.
TAM – Lindsey 12 pass from Hippeard (Lewis kick) 00:40
TAM – Ings 4 pass from Hippeard (Lewis kick) 00:10.
WAS – Sean Brackett (1-8-1), T.T. Toliver (1-6-1), Will Corbin (3-14-0).
TAM – Randy Hippeard (3-11-1), Dexter Jackson (1-1-0), Kendrick Ings (2-15-0), Ryan Cave (4-19-0)
WAS – Will Corbin (3-14-0), T.T. Toliver (1-6-0), Sean Brackett (1-8-0)
TAM – Ryan Cave (4-19-0), Kendrick Ings (2-15-0), Randy Hippeard (3-11-1), Dexter Jackson (1-1-0)
WAS – Charles McClain (3-36-1), Roger Jackson (3-70-1), Greg Carr (11-103-1), T. T. Toliver (4-39-1).
TAM –Kendrick Ings (11-111-2), Justin Hilton (7-70-2), Michael Lindsey (6-69-1).
KO Returns: (No.-Yds-TD)
WAS – Charles McClain (6-138-1)
TAM – Kendrick Ings (6-161-1), Michael Lindsey (2-32-0)
Offensive Player of the Game: Sean Brackett, Washington.
Defensive Player of the Game: Tracy Belton, Washington.
MVP OF THE GAME: Kendrick Ings, Tampa Bay.