For the third time this season the Tampa Bay Storm won in the closing seconds, as Joe Hills' 3-yard TD catch with 3.7 remaining broke a tie in the Storm's 53-47 defeat of visiting Washington.
Tampa Bay trailed 26-14 at one point but got a key 35-yard TD from Hills with :22 left in the first half, on fourth down. Hills and Kendrick Ings got three each of Randy Hippeard's seven touchdown passes.
Ings fumbled on the opening kickoff when his attempt to do a Deion Sanders dance into the end zone saw him fumble for a touchback. Box score.
The Storm have won four straight to go to 5-1, and stay a game behind defending champ Philadelphia (6-0) with a full 3.5 games between Tampa Bay and third-place (the top two teams earn a home playoff game).
Tampa Bay was able to turn the tables on the Valor by recovering a fumble on the third-quarter kickoff, forced by Mike Lindsey and recovered by the kicker Mark Lewis. Ings scored the tying touchdown and the game went back and forth until another key play, Washington QB Erik Meyer fumbling the ball on a 10-yard run -- he hurt his hamstring and lost the ball immediately, recovered by Alvin Ray Jackson.
It was 40-40 at the time and the Storm took the lead on a Hills score with 2:50 left. Washington tied it with :37 remaining but the Storm got the onside kick, and Hills' gaining of a first down allowed Tampa Bay to work the clock down to the final seconds as it has done often this season.
Our Darek Sharp had the play-by-play, with all the scoring calls here.
photo courtesy Tampa Bay Storm