Defensive lineman James McClinton's blocked field goal with no time left preserved a wild 41-40 victory for the Tampa Bay Storm Saturday at Amalie Arena.
Tampa Bay had seen a 28-6 lead nearly vanish, its offense unable to get the putaway touchdown. Portland DB Matt Pierce, who forced his team's first two stops with good coverage, intercepted an Adam Kennedy pass one after the Steel had another forced fumble overturned.
Portland took over with 4:06 left and worked the clock, converting a fourth down where receiver Jared Perry fumbled, with Tampa Bay taking it for a touchdown -- only to have replay rule Perry was touched out of bounds before fumbling. The Steel worked the clock for a field goal, at one point Perry falling down on purpose at the 6-yard line when he had no defender in front of him.
On second down Portland QB Shane Austin took a knee, but for a loss of four yards back to the 8-yard line. Ernesto Lecayo's kick got deflected by the 285-point McClinton, though, dramatically ending the Storm's six-game losing streak.
Here's Darek Sharp and Ian Beckles with the call of the final play
Everything went right for Tampa Bay until the end of the first half, with Cameron McGlenn forcing a fumble on a kickoff, Cameron McGlenn making an acrobatic interception and Tampa Bay adding a turnover on downs. But with the 22-point lead and the ball, the Storm were stopped -- and Portland went in with three seconds left.
Portland made it 28-19 to open the third quater, but the Storm answered when Kennedy hit T.T. Toliver for a 6-yard score on fourth-and-goal. But the Steel came up two stops, around V'Keon Lacey'21-yard TD reception that had the Storm up 41-33.
Kennedy was 11-of-17 for 101 yards at half but just 8-of-17 for 82 in the second.
The Steel's next play was a 45-yard catch-and-run by Nick Truesdell, but the Steel chose to kick the extra point with 6:32 left.
Tampa Bay (2-13) wraps up the regular season next Saturday at Jacksonville.