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Arena league

Short yardage leads to a short temper

By FRANK PASTOR
Published February 9, 2004

TAMPA - Coach Tim Marcum waited through more than three quarters of Sunday's 52-41 victory over Orlando before erupting for the first time this season.

Marcum screamed at officials after Tampa Bay came up short of a first down after fullback David White's 1-yard run to the Orlando 2 early in the fourth quarter.

Officials tossed the ball to the hash mark to spot it instead of spotting it near the sideline where White's progress was stopped, bringing up third down, Marcum said. "They very poorly mechanically officiated the thing," he said.

It didn't matter, as White scored on the next play to give the Storm a 45-27 lead.

WELCOME BACK: The Storm gave former offensive specialist James Bowden a rude reception in his return to Tampa Bay.

Bowden's helmet was ripped off when T.T. Toliver and Del Lee tackled him on a first-quarter kickoff return. On the next play, Toliver knocked Bowden over the sideline barrier and into the stands as the Orlando receiver leapt for a pass. Bowden held on for a 16-yard gain, one of six catches he had for 52 yards and a touchdown.

STICKING AROUND: Orlando coach Jay Gruden received a one-year extension Friday, keeping him with the Predators through 2006. Gruden, 36, has a 43-24 record with two championships in three ArenaBowl appearances in four seasons as coach.

LIVING A DREAM: Wide receiver/defensive back Lin-J Shell, 22, earned a spot on Orlando's roster by outshining 350 hopefuls at an open tryout in October. Shell, who played at Jacksonville University, caught one pass for 16 yards and made two tackles against the Storm.

WHERE'S K2?: Storm offensive/defensive lineman Kelvin Kinney left early in the third quarter with a pulled groin. He did not return.

AWARDS: Storm quarterback Shane Stafford was named offensive player of the game by attending media. Defensive back Shea Showers was defensive player of the game. Toliver was Ironman.

STORM FLURRIES: Clif Dell's 22-yard TD catch in the third quarter was the 50th of his career. ... The Storm raised its 2003 championship banner before the game. New banners for the 1991, '93, '95 and '96 titles also were displayed above the field. ... Storm wide receiver/defensive back Tramain Jones, quarterback Stoney Case and offensive/defensive lineman Emil Ekiyor were inactive. ... Bucs coach Jon Gruden and cornerback Ronde Barber were spotted in the crowd.

[Last modified February 9, 2004, 01:05:23]


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