BALTIMORE — Randy Hippeard's eighth touchdown pass of the game, a 3-yarder to Lamark Brown with five seconds left, gave the Tampa Bay Storm a dramatic 62-55 victory over Baltimore on Sunday afternoon.
With the Storm trailing 55-54 after a Brigade touchdown with 58 seconds left, Brown recovered an expected onside kick at the 15. On third down, Hippeard hit Kendrick Ings, who could have scored easily but smartly fell at the 3-yard line so Tampa Bay could run down the clock. Hippeard took a pair of knees and, after calling timeout with eight seconds left, found Brown on third and goal.
Tampa Bay (3-1) was stopped only once on offense, but the Brigade turned a 14-point halftime deficit into a 48-41 lead thanks to two kickoff recoveries.
The Storm's Joe Hills caught 13 passes for 126 yards and four touchdowns, three in the first half including one with four seconds left for a 34-20 lead. But the Brigade (1-3) started the third quarter with a touchdown and fell on the ensuing kickoff in the end zone, tying it at 34. The teams exchanged touchdowns before another Baltimore recovery set up a 7-yard field and the eventual lead.
With the score tied at 48, Storm linebacker Alvin Ray Jackson created the lone second-half stop with a forced fumble, recovered by Paul Stephens, who in the first half had scored on a 47-yard fumble return (forced by Jordan Miller). Tampa Bay went up 54-48 on a Hills score with 6:10 left but missed the extra point.
Jackson also had a first-half interception, one play after Tampa Bay's only turnover of the night (on downs).
Brown caught 11 passes for 191 yards and three TDs. Hippeard went 31-of-40 for 285 yards.
Tampa Bay sits in second place behind Philadelphia (4-0) and looks to create even more space between the teams underneath it next week. The Storm visits third-place Washington (1-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday.