TAMPA BAY - Wide receiver Huey Whittaker led all receivers with 15 catches for 193 yards and five touchdowns, but that was not enough to counter Dallas, as the Storm fell to the Vigilantes 67-to-61 in front of 12,226 fans at the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday night.
The Vigilantes (4-2) scored three times on the ground and twice on special teams in their first win over the Storm in the franchise's young history. Quarterback Dan Raudebaugh added four touchdowns through the air off of 13 completions for 202 yards and no interceptions in the win for the Vigilantes.
Vigilantes' utility man Matt Fields stood out for Dallas in the win. Fields was accountable for four of Dallas's touchdowns, scoring twice on the ground off of three rushes for 16 yards and twice more receiving off of 5 catches going for 116 yards.
The Storm (2-4) started the game quickly, with Quarterback Grant Gregory completing seven-of-10 passes for 118 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter. Gregory spread the ball around effectively, hitting four different receivers in the game, but the connection with Whittaker proved to be the most potent for the Storm as the two former South Florida Bulls connected in the endzone five times. Gregory completed 24-of-42 passes for 275 yards and those five touchdowns.
The Storm could not take advantage of their hot start however, as several offensive and special teams miscues allowed Dallas to take control of the proceedings in the third quarter.
Recently acquired Storm quarterback Brian Zbydniewski was five-of-six passing for 107 yards and three touchdowns in relief of Gregory during the fourth quarter, helping the Storm close what was a twenty point gap with 2:46 left in the fourth to just six as time expired. The final two touchdowns were scored in 12 seconds apart during the last 12 seconds of the game.
The Storm head back out on the road next week as they take on the Milwaukee Mustangs Saturday, April 30th 2011 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI. The game can be heard on 620 AM-WDAE with coverage beginning at 7:30 PM EST.
Tampa Bay Storm Media Release