tampabay.com

Storm victory comes with bad break for DE

When it comes to remedies for broken bones, a cross-country flight at 37, 000 feet isn't at the top of your family doctor's list. But as Tom Briggs walked through an airport in Houston during a layover Sunday, he didn't have much choice.

By DAVID MURPHY
Published May 14, 2007


When it comes to remedies for broken bones, a cross-country flight at 37, 000 feet isn't at the top of your family doctor's list. But as Tom Briggs walked through an airport in Houston during a layover Sunday, he didn't have much choice.

"It's aching pretty bad right now, " the Storm defensive end said of his broken left hand via cell phone. Other than that, he couldn't complain.

The Storm was on its way home after a 40-37 win over Los Angeles late Saturday, and Briggs, who broke a bone in his left hand early in the fourth quarter but did not leave the field, was very much the game-saver. He sacked Sonny Cumbie with two seconds remaining, forcing Avengers kicker Remy Hamilton to try a 47-yard field goal, which fell short.

A defense that for the first month couldn't stop a nosebleed held the Avengers 5-5 scoreless for the final 11:26.

The Storm has won three straight and four of five. A month after an embarrassing loss to Orlando dropped the Storm to 1-5, it is in the thick of the National Conference playoff race. In fact, if the season ended today, the Storm (4-6) would qualify for the postseason.

"The whole thing is, we're just pushing the pocket so much better now than we ever have, " coach Tim Marcum said. "That's kind of what's helped us."

Rookie Brett Dietz was solid in his second start at quarterback, throwing three fourth-quarter touchdowns, including the winning 2-yarder to T.T. Toliver with 41 seconds remaining.

Dietz completed 21-of-35 passes for 224 yards and five touchdowns. Most important, he has no interceptions in 92 attempts since taking over for injured John Kaleo.

"He was thrown into the fire, but he brings a calmness to the huddle, " Briggs said. "Nothing ever rattles him."

TB LA

First downs 15 17

Rushes-yards 4-5 6-6

Passing yards 223 192

Passes 21-35-0 20-42-1

Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0

Penalties-yards 16-78 3-24

TB - Marler 23 FG

LA - Turner 28 pass from Cumbie (Hamilton kick)

TB - Samuels 6 pass from Dietz (Marler kick)

LA - Hamitlon 35 FG

LA - Stubbs 5 pass from Cumbie (kick failed)

TB - Kaleita 12 pass from Dietz (Marler kick)

LA - Ingram 34 pass from Cumbie (Hamilton kick)

TB - Marler 36 FG

LA - Ford 2 run (Hamilton kick)

TB - Shaw 4 pass from Dietz (Marler kick)

LA - Quiroga 6 pass from Cumbie (Hamilton kick)

TB - Toliver 14 pass from Dietz (Marler kick)

TB - Toliver 2 pass from Dietz (kick failed)