The Tampa Bay Storm defense provided two first half stops, allowing quarterback Brian Zbydniewski the chance to establish an early two score lead, a lead the Storm did not relinquish for the rest of the game, defeating the Kansas City Command 46-30 in front of 11,172 fans at the St. Pete Times Forum Friday evening.
The Storm defense (3-6) recorded four total stops, including two fourth quarter turnovers, a Jermaine Smith goal-line fumble recovery and a Michael Hawthorne interception in the endzone. Smith tallied three total recoveries during the game, after recovering two consecutive missed field goals in the third quarter, in addition to the fourth quarter fumble recovery.
Zbydniewski and the Storm offense scored following every turnover, and did not commit any turnovers of their own for the first time all season. The Storm quarterback was 26-of-44 passing, for 277 yards and six touchdowns in his first career victory.
Storm wide receiver Amarri Jackson led all receivers with 14 receptions for 187 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
Kansas City's receiver Robert Gill stood out for the Command, with seven catches for 159 yards and one score. Gill caught one of two 40-plus yard passes from Command quarterback JJ Raterink, including a third quarter 40-yard touchdown.
Storm wide receiver Huey Whittaker recorded his fourth straight multiple touchdown game, scoring twice off of seven catches for 51 yards. While Storm fullback Terrence Royal paved the way on the ground with four rushes for 17 yards and a touchdown in the second quarter.
The Storm are back out on the road again next week in a rematch of last season's ArenaBowl. They head cross country to take on the Shock on Friday, May 20th at Spokane Veteran Memorial Arena in Spokane, WA at 11pm EST. The game can be heard on 1250 AM-WHNZ and seen online at www.NiFTytv.com/AFL.