Storm Hold Off Power
Last Second Effort Falls Short for Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH (July 7, 2012) – The Power suffered a heartbreaking loss Saturday night to the visiting Tampa Bay Storm, 65-61. Pittsburgh had a chance to win the game with one second left on the clock, but the final pass fell innocently to the turf as time expired giving the Storm their first road win on the season.
Tampa Bay opened up the scoring as their starting quarterback Nick Hill connected with his leading receiver Prechae Rodriguez for the score. Pittsburgh would answer on their ensuing possession as Andrico Hines led the boys in white down the field capitalizing with a P.J. Berry touchdown run.
Christian Wise made his first start on the season at defensive back and provided a spark for the Power defense. On Tampa’s second possession, Wise picked off Hill enabling Pittsburgh to take the lead on a Tyre Young rushing touchdown giving the Power a 14-7 lead after one quarter.
Tampa Bay opened up scoring in the second quarter with a Hill pass to Joe Hills who had a monster game on the night. With the score tied at 14, Hines and Berry worked their magic to take back the lead giving Berry his second score on the night.
On Tampa Bay’s next possession, Hill attempted to scramble but was brought down and had to be removed from the game due to injury. Tampa Bay’s starter from the start of the season, Stephen Wasil stepped in as a replacement and performed admirably.
Before the first half was over, Wasil would throw two touchdowns to Michael Lindsey, but would be outdone by Hines who threw a pair of touchdown, including a jump ball to A.J. Jackson as time expired in the first half giving the Power a 33-30 lead heading into halftime.
The Power got the ball to start the third quarter and immediately extended their lead with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Mike Washington. The grab was Washington’s second score on the night putting Pittsburgh up by 10.
From there, Wasil and the Storm began their comeback. Wasil connected with Hills to cut the deficit to three, which was followed up by a Vance Cuff interception to get the Storm the ball again looking for a lead. Wasil kept going with what was working and hit Hills once again to give Tampa Bay a 44-40 lead.
Pittsburgh wasn’t done in the third, finishing off scoring in the period with a hat trick for Washington to give the Power a 47-40 lead entering the fourth quarter of play.
Washington finished the night with 10 receptions for 126 yards and three touchdowns. Washington’s complement, Berry, added another 98 yards through the air with three total touchdowns.
Just before the fourth quarter began, the Storm bounced back from a turnover on down by capitalizing on a Lendy Holmes interception. Once the Storm regained possession, they pounded it away with their big fullback, Tom Keleita who finished the drive with a one-yard score putting Tampa Bay back up 51-41.
The Power and Storm traded scores all through the fourth quarter until Wasil plunged in from a yard out with 25 seconds remaining on the clock to put Tampa Bay up 65-61 late.
After coming in to replace Hill, Wasil finished the game 16-of-24 for 162 yards and five touchdowns. Hill, who was the game’s MVP, finished with 13 receptions, 162 yards and five scores.
After a big kickoff return from Berry, Hines and the offense stringed together a drive that put them within the five yard-line with one second remaining on the clock. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, Hines final pass attempt hit the turf handing Tampa Bay a 65-61 victory.
Hines finished the game 28-of-41 with 310 yards, seven touchdown and two interceptions.
The Power fall to 4-12 on the season and have two games remaining to fill their hunger for wins. Next week, the team travels to Georgia try to exact revenge on the Force, who beat the Power back in May, 55-52.