SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KWSN) The Cedar Rapids Titans (6-4) started the season strong, winning their first 5 games, but have faltered of late. That was not the case on Saturday, as they were set to host the 2012 IFL Champions, the Sioux Falls Storm (6-4).
The Storm took the field minus a couple of familiar faces, Mike Tatum (#23, WR) was out with a concussion, Tory Harrison (#24, RB), third in the league in rushing, was out with a knee injury and veteran Cory Johnsen (#96, DL) was out with injury as well. Some familiar faces were back with the Storm. Stewart Franks (#2, DB) was signed this week to hopefully give the Storm DBs some veteran help and Clinton Solomon (#8, WR) was also back in a Storm uniform.
Things started off well for the Storm, defensively. A holding call in the end zone gave the Storm a 2-0 lead after Cedar Rapids initial possession. On the ensuing drive, after the free kick, Parker Douglass hit a field goal to give the Storm a 5-0 lead, that would be their last lead of the game.
The Titans next series, Dan O'keefe (#18, Safety) intercepted a Charles McCullum pass, giving the Storm great field position, but could not get the ball across the goal line. On the next drive, a fumble by the Titans gave the Storm, once again, great field position, but once again, they could not get the ball in the end zone. One play into the next drive, after the Titans took the ball over on downs, McCullum found Bryan Pray in the end zone for a 49 Yard TD strike, taking the lead and never relinquishing that lead.
Martaveous Young (#1, QB) for the Storm, had been sitting silently on the bench for the past three weeks watching Storm veteran, Terrance Bryant (#15, QB), come out of retirement and show why he was, and still is, one of the greatest quarterbacks to play indoor football. After struggling to move the ball throughout the first half, Head Coach Kurtiss Riggs went with Young, to see if his talents running the ball could spark some life into the struggling Storm offense. While there were some bright spots and moments of excitement, the results were more of the same... turn overs and stalled drives.
The Storm defense played well through 29 minutes and 40 seconds of the first half, but turnovers by the offense forced them to stay on the field and continue to wear down. With 20 seconds left in the first half, McCullom found a target in the endzone giving the Titans a 22-5 lead going in to the locker room. When both teams hit the field for the second act, more of the same was the theme, with a final score of 52-18.
The Sioux Falls Storm are still tied for 2nd place in the United Conference. Let's say that again... The Sioux Falls Storm are still tied for 2nd place in the United Conference. A bad night will not dictate the "end of the season" as the Storm still hold the keys to their own path with two straight home games against the top two teams in the conference. On May 18th, The Storm host a rematch against the Chicago Slaughter (7-4) and on May 25th the Storm host a rematch against the Cedar Rapids Titans (6-4). The Storm have not lost a game at home since 2009. In the Intense Conference, the once dominant Nebraska Danger (6-4) lost their 2nd straight game, giving the Colorado Ice (6-3) the top spot in that conference. The remainder of the season promises to be exciting as parity in the IFL is more evident than ever.
Tickets are available for both games. You can purchase tickets at www.ticketmaster.com or contact the Sioux Falls Arena box office. Both games start at 7:05pm. Next week, May 18th, is Military Appreciation night, a night when we say thanks to all veteran, retired, active duty and reserve members of the US military. FREE tickets are available for past and present members of the US Military! Contact the Storm front office at 605-274-6686 for more information.