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Dragons douse Storm 66-47

April 18, 2008 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Tampa Bay Storm News Release

Tampa, FL - The New York Dragons (4-4) defeated the Tampa Bay Storm (2-5) 66-47 in front of 17,104 fans at the St. Pete Times Forum as the Storm failed to create a turnover for the fifth consecutive game.

The Dragons defensive line led the effort as they put constant pressure on Storm quarterback Brett Dietz from the onset of the game. League sack leader Henry Taylor brought his season total to 7.5 sacks while Farouk Adelekan added a safety on Tampa Bay's first possession in the second half.

Despite constant harassment Dietz threw for 334 yards and six touchdowns, however the constant pressure led to two interceptions. Aaron Garcia led an efficient Dragon offense as he completed 22 of 26 passes for 254 yards and seven touchdowns.

Tampa Bay took a 14-10 lead into the second quarter despite and interception on the team's second possession. The defensive held strong and forced a Chris Onorato field goal. The Storm got a rushing touchdown from fullback Torrance Marshal and a touchdown catch from Terrill Shaw in his first game back form injured reserve.

The tide changed in the second quarter as the Dragons scored 14 points to open the second stanza. The first score came from hurdling lineman, Elliot Seifert, as he scored on an 11-yard screen from Aaron Garcia. Billy Parker picked off a Dietz pass in the redzone on the following possession and New York capitalized with a 22-yard Kevin Swayne touchdown reception to take a nine-point lead. Tampa Bay cut the lead to three with eight second left in the half however, a penalty was assessed on the following kickoff and after one completion for nine yards Onorato nailed a 42-yard field goal to put the Dragons up by six at the half.

The Storm defense held the Dragons to yet another field goal attempt on the opening drive of the third quarter. After a touchback the ball was spotted on the Storm five-yard line and Adelekan knifed through the Storm offensive line on the next play for a safety to put New York up by 11. New York capitalized on the free possession, despite a fumble, to extend the lead to 18 points. Tampa Bay responded on the following drive with a five-yard bubble screen to Hank Edwards for a touchdown. Edwards eclipsed 100 yards receiving for the fourth time in five games.

Unfortunately Tampa Bay could not slow down New York in the fourth quarter. Despite touchdown passes to both David Saunders and Lawrence Samuels the Storm could not stop the Dragons or overcome a fumble returned for a touchdown by Dragon defensive lineman John Nix. Tampa Bay lost its fifth game in a row for only the second time in franchise history by a final score of 66-47.


* Lawrence Samuels became the sixth player in Arena Football history to surpass 11,000 career receiving yards. He finished the game with 11,002 career receiving yards on seven receptions for 77 yards. With seven receptions he only needs five more to surpass Eddie Brown and move into second place all-time in the AFL.

* Lawrence Samuels scored his 175 career touchdown in the fourth quarter on the very same catch that sent him over 11,000 yards for his career.

* Dragon defensive back Angel Estrada left the game in the first quarter with a sprained knee and did not return to action. Estrada was recently activated of injured reserve (Week 5). He did record two tackles before exiting the game.

* Brett Dietz tied the AFL record for least games to reach 80 touchdown passes. He currently has 85 in his first 16 games.

* Terrill Shaw caught his 150th career touchdown reception in the first quarter. With two in the game he now has 151 in his career.

* Lawrence Samuels scored his 175 career touchdown in the fourth quarter on the very same catch that sent him over 11,000 yards for his career.

Next week the Storm travel to Orlando to take on the Predators in the 'War on I-4' at Amway Arena, Saturday, April 26 - 7:30 p.m. (Catch 47, 970 AM-WFLA). The Dragons will host the Cleveland Gladiators Saturday, April 26 - 7:00 p.m.

AFL action continues Monday night on ESPN Russell Athletic Monday Night Football as the Philadelphia Soul travel to Columbus to take on the Destroyers. The defending National Conference Champion Destroyers will try to hand the Soul its first defeat of the season. The game starts at 8:00 p.m. (EST) on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD.

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Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from April 18, 2008

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