By George Vinson
Paul “Bear” Bryant once said “It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” Saturday night the Tampa Bay Storm were well prepared and ready for revenge against their mighty foes Cleveland Gladiators. This was sweet pay back, because if you remember Tampa fell to the Gladiators on July 8 in a heartbreaking 2 point loss at Quicken arena. This time their rematch looked like a one sided battle as Tampa Bay stormed their way into a 57-27 win on July 22nd at Amalie Arena on Fan Appreciation night. Tampa Bay got off to a quick start with a 36 yard strike from Randy Hippeard to receiver Joe Hill. Hill added on to his record breaking streak of consecutive games with a touchdown by extending it to 80. Former Cleveland standout Alvin Jackson return a 19 yard interception for a score to get the second score. “We are just focused on putting together a complete game right now”, stated Jackson. Cleveland would end the half with 13 points capped off by an interception by Terence Moore who gave an amazing lateral to DB Marrio Norman for the score.
The score was 28-13 at the half.
The Storm continued to pour it on in the 3rd quarter and added 20 points. Hippeard connected with Kendrick Ings (27 yards) , LaMark Brown (2 yards) and Hoe Hills (19 yards) for touchdowns. He ended the night 22 of 36 for 234 yards and 5 touchdowns. Cleveland would score once with a short run from QB Arvell Nelson. The fourth quarter saw a Kickoff net return by special teams Michael Lindsey and a late fumble recovery by Gladiator’s DL Nick Seither. This would conclude the 30 point victory sending the Storm to 10-3 and Cleveland to 4-9. Wide receiver Michael Lindsey stated “When its time to play we are going to play.” The Storm have a bye-week and then travel to Philadelphia to face the 1 lost defending champs Philadelphia Soul. Next home game will be a playoff game August 14th.