. The Tampa Bay Storm didn't have to sweat this one out. Tampa Bay defeated visiting Baltimore 47-35 Saturday for a fifth straight win, and the first of the streak that didn't come down to the final minute. Box score
All of the Storm scoring plays from Darek Sharp and Ian Beckles on Storm Radio.
Joe Hills caught 10 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns, as well as adding a first career rushing TD. Here's Hills' first TD, giving him a score in 75 consecutive games.
Quarterback Randy Hippeard was perfect in the first quarter, going 7-for-7 as Tampa Bay scored three times for a 20-7 lead, getting a big boost when Baltimore QB Shane Carden fumbled a snap, with Storm DL Kendall Montgomery recovering. Tampa Bay's Mark Lewis executed a great onside kick when it was 27-14 in the final minute of the half, but Baltimore came up with a goal line stand.
Tampa Bay's offense went stagnant in the third period, getting its only points when Alvin Ray Jackson recovered the second-half kick off the bar for a 33-14 lead. Baltimore cut it to 33-28 but Hippeard hit Kendrick Ings for a score on the first play of the fourth quarter, and LaRoche Jackson stopped Brigade receiver Julian Talley a yard shy of the marker for a turnover on downs to effectively secure the victory.
Here's one of three pass breakups by Jackson, part of a tremendously-improved secondary over the last month by the Storm. In consecutive weeks they acquired defensive backs who have a combined 70 career interceptions, first Paul Stephens, then Jackson, and finally Greg Reid who nearly had two picks Saturday.
photo (Hills' rushing TD) courtesy Tampa Bay Storm