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Tonight: Storm vs. Houston

By JOHN C. COTEY

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 7, 2001


WHEN/WHERE: 7:30; Ice Palace, Tampa.

RADIO: WDAE-AM 620. RECORDS: Thunderbears 3-9, Storm 8-3.

COACHES: Thunderbears -- Steve Thonn (18-36, fourth season). Storm -- Tim Marcum (134-40, 13th season).

SERIES: Storm leads 5-0.

OUTLOOK: Tampa Bay, No. 2 in the league, needs a win to retain hope of getting a first-round bye in the playoffs, especially with division foe Nashville up next. Though the Thunderbears are a last-place team, they are better than their record indicates. Five of their losses were by five points or fewer, and they have been outscored on the season by 44 points. John Fitzgerald, who was on injured reserve last year for Tampa Bay, will start at quarterback for Houston after a 25-for-40, 349-yard performance last week against Arizona. Former South Florida standout Rj Anderson has four TD catches. The Storm probably will be without injured top receiver James Bowden again. Storm QB John Kaleo hopes to bounce back after a loss to Orlando. Houston is 18th (of 19 teams) in total defense, 16th in passing defense and 17th is first downs allowed.

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