The Sioux Falls Storm open the 2018 IFL Playoffs with a thrilling overtime victory over the defending champion Arizona Rattlers. The Storm pulled out a 69-68 win on Saturday, June 23 to advance to their ninth consecutive United Bowl.
The Rattlers would strike first with a three-yard rushing touchdown by Jamaal Miles, giving them an early 7-0 lead. The Storm would tie it up after a five-yard quarterback keeper by Lorenzo Brown. The Rattlers would go up 14-7 after a 41-yard touchdown pass by Verlon Reed to Dezmon Epps. The Storm would tie the game again after a 31-yard touchdown pass by Lorenzo Brown to Lyle McCombs. The Rattlers would take a 20-14 lead after a 21-yard touchdown pass Verlon Reed to Anthony Amos and a failed PAT. The Storm would end the first quarter with a 21-20 lead after a 33-yard touchdown pass by Lorenzo Brown to Damond Powell.
The Rattlers would retake a 27-21 lead to begin the second quarter after a eight-yard touchdown pass by Verlon Reed to Anthony Amos. The Storm would regain a 28-27 lead after a 49-yard kickoff return by Damond Powell. The Rattlers would respond with a five-yard rushing touchdown by Jamaal Miles, giving them a 34-28 lead. The Storm would retake a 35-34 lead when Lorenzo Brown found Damond Powell for a 14-yard touchdown. The Rattlers go on to score back-to-back touchdowns to take a 48-35 lead. The first touchdown was a 11-yard touchdown pass by Verlon Reed to Jamaal Miles and then a pick six by Nathan Lindsey. The Storm would end the half with a 48-38 deficit after a successful 41-yard field goal by Miles Bergner.
The Storm would start the third quarter with back-to-back touchdowns to retake a 52-48 lead. The touchdowns would come off of two quarterback keepers by Lorenzo Brown, first a one-yard touchdown and then a 28-yard touchdown. The Rattlers answered with a 15-yard rushing touchdown by Dezmon Epps to retake a 55-22 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The Storm would strike first in the forth quarter to take a 59-55 lead after a two-yard rushing touchdown by Lyle McCombs. The Rattlers regain the lead after a two-yard rushing touchdown by Verlon Reed, bringing the score to 62-59. The Storm would tie the game again after a 30-yard field goal by Miles Bergner. The Rattlers would miss a 24-yard game winning field goal for the Storm to take over and take a knee to send the game into overtime.
The Rattlers would possess the ball first to score after a 16-yard touchdown pass by Verlon Reed to Dezmon Epps, Storm linebacker Dezmin Reed would block the PAT to bring the score to 68-62. The Storm would win the game after a 20-yard touchdown pass by Lorenzo Brown to Damian Ford and Miles Bergner would hit the PAT to bring the final score to 69-68.
Storm quarterback Lorenzo Brown completed 13 out of his 22 attempts for 167 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Brown also rushed for 72 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Lyle McCombs had seven rushing yards with one touchdown and 68 receiving yards with one touchdown. Wide receivers Damond Powell had 55 yards and two touchdowns while Damian Ford had 40 yards with one touchdown. Kicker Miles Bergner was perfect on the night, hitting two field goals and nine extra points. Kick returner Damond Powell had 176 return yards and one touchdown. Defensive back Damond Smith II led the Thunder Defense with 13 total tackles. Linebacker Dezmin Reed had one pass break-up and one block. Defensive linemen Claude Davis and Louis Palmer had .5 sack.
The Sioux Falls Storm (12-3) will return to action on July 7 where they will face the top seeded Iowa Barnstormers (12-3) for the 2018 United Bowl. Kickoff is slated for 7:05 PM CT in Des Moines.
Courtesy: Sioux Falls Storm
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