St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Storm allows lead, season to slip away

© St. Petersburg Times
published August 4, 2002

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Time ran out Saturday on the Storm.

Shane Stafford's pass on the final play of the game was tipped away, and San Jose rallied to defeat the Storm 55-48 to reach the Arena Football League semifinals.

On fourth down with the ball on the SaberCats 2, Stafford rolled to his left, but all of his receivers were covered. He flipped the ball toward David Saunders, but Barry Wagner tipped it away.

"We got the pressure, and he got flushed out (of the pocket)," Wagner said. "The receivers bunched up in one spot. I was in a zone, and I got on the side of (Saunders). When he missed it, I knocked it down."

The Storm let the clock run from 27 seconds to two seconds after Basil Proctor's run on third down went for no gain.

"If you can't make 2 yards on a play, especially a fourth-down play, you don't deserve to win anyway," said Storm coach Tim Marcum, whose team led 45-27 with 8:48 left in the third quarter.

San Jose, the top-seeded team, scored 21 points in 11 minutes bridging the third and fourth quarters. A 10-yard pass from John Dutton to Wagner and a Daron Alcorn extra point gave the SaberCats a 48-45 lead with 9:43 left.

The Storm tied it with a 39-yard field goal by Pete Elezovic with 2:45 left.

On San Jose's final drive, Dutton connected with James Roe twice, the second for a 35-yard touchdown with 1:18 left. By the time Alcorn made the extra point, there was 1:00 left.

The Storm drove the field and reached the San Jose 1.

On first down, Stafford took a knee. On second down, Stafford's sneak got no yards. Proctor's run set up the final play.

Stafford, 14-for-39 for 268 yards and four touchdowns, played as well in the first half, after which Tampa Bay led 30-27, as he did in a 66-41 first-round victory at Los Angeles last weekend.

"We just didn't make the play at the end," he said. "We worked hard and thought we had a chance."

The Storm built a 30-20 lead in the second quarter as Stafford found Saunders for two touchdowns. Stafford's 44-yard pass to Saunders, who had five catches for 103 yards, with 10:22 left cut San Jose's lead to 20-17. "They got the lead in the first half," San Jose lineman Sam Hernandez said. "But their big guys got tired. We rotated and wore them down, I think."

Tampa Bay's defense helped extend the lead in the second half. Lawrence Samuels' 17-yard interception return with 8:48 left in the third gave the Storm its biggest lead at 45-27.

"We didn't make the plays in the fourth quarter," Marcum said. They just came from behind."

Wagner, the six-time ironman of the year, broke up four passes and had six catches for 64 yards and three touchdowns. Dutton was 24-for-38 for a career-high 327 yards and six touchdowns.

* * *

ORLANDO 49, NEW JERSEY 46: Jay Gruden threw four touchdowns to lead the visiting Predators into the semifinals. Gruden, the only active player in the Hall of Fame, connected twice each with Junior Lord and Siaha Burley.

-- Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

  • Home cooking warms Gordon
  • Jarrett, Harvick top IROC at Brickyard
  • Stewart fast with car, faster with mouth

  • College football
  • New football players (19) report to USF

  • NFL
  • Dilfer will get chance to open it up with Seattle

  • Storm
  • Storm allows lead, season to slip away

  • Baseball
  • Indians' trades could portend bright future
  • Mariner DH ties mark with three sacrifice flies

  • Preps
  • Lyons' busy summer now includes a victory
  • Game is team's focus, not protest

  • Outdoors
  • Sunshine Skyway piers hold attention of pompano anglers
  • Daily fishing report

  • Letters
  • Sapp continues to show he is all talk, no action

  • Rays
  • Injection of speed helps Rays win
  • Abernathy's slump puts him on bench
  • Rays tales
  • Reducing payroll or maintaining budget?

  • Bucs
  • Roman knows
  • Brown is here to compete
  • McKay is not bothered by Ray Lewis' new deal
  • Giants' Strahan lashes out at Sapp
  • Lott's LB son rookie standout
  • Southern Fryed

  • Gary Shelton
  • Finally, youth is conserved

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts