After falling behind on an interception return with a minute remaining, the Tampa Bay Storm had enough time to regroup. Turns out they used up most of that time.
Amarri Jackson caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Randy Hippeard with just four seconds left as the Storm won 48-45 Friday night in San Antonio.
It was Hippeard's seventh touchdown of the night and Jackson's third. Tampa Bay had come back from a 14-0 deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter, only to have a 10-point advantage go by the wayside.
Twice in the second half, one play after the Storm made a stop, a receiver dropped a ball turning into a Talons interception. The first of those was taken for a touchdown by San Antonio linebacker Jamar Ransom to put San Antonio up 31-20 midway through the third quarter.
Tampa Bay got the next three scores, two by Jackson sandwiched around a 29-yarder to Justin Hilton that gave the Storm their first lead, 34-31 with 9:38 remaining.
San Antonio's offense did not score on any of its first four possessions of the half, prompting a quarterback change from Mitch Mustain to Marcus Jackson despite the Talons being ahead. Jackson was terrible, but the one touchdown pass he did throw pulled the Talons within 41-38 at the 4:26 mark. And with the Storm hoping to run down the clock Kelvin Rodgers intercepted a ball, ricocheted off the side wall and went for a 22-yard score with one minute left.
Mike Lindsey was horse collared on the kickoff return giving the Storm the ball near midfield. Short completions to Hilton and Jackson had them at the Talons 12 with :20 remaining. After two incompletions head coach Lawrence Samuels called timeout and drew up the play to Jackson.
The former USF and Sarasota Rivervew star finished with three touchdowns, while Hilton and Andrew Helmick had one apiece.
Chris Smith picked off two passes for the Storm.
San Antonio led 14-0. The key play came when Helmick caught the ball at the 20 and had a clear path to the end zone but was caught by Ransom at the 3. On the next play from scrimmage Hippeard was sacked by Brandon Sesay and the Talons recovered at midfield.
The Storm closed to within 17-14 but it was 24-14 at halftime.
Tampa Bay, 2-0 for the first time in six seasons, will host fellow unbeaten Orlando next Saturday.