The Soul allowed 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and fell back to .500 with a frustrating 56-49 loss to the Storm at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Saturday.
Dan Raudabaugh had a chance to fuel a late comeback for the Soul, who held a 15-point lead after three quarters, but his intended pass for Ryan McDaniel fell incomplete in the end zone as the final horn sounded. Raudabaugh finished the game with 353 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
“We made enough plays to win this game,” Soul head coach Clint Dolezel said. “But, we have to win the fourth quarter and finish. We didn’t do that tonight.”
The Soul (6-6) also wasted a record-setting night by Derrick Ross. With three rushing touchdowns, the veteran fullback set the AFL career touchdown rushing mark at 129, surpassing Hall of Famer Barry Wagner's 127 scores. Ross completed the game with 13 carries for 27 yards and also collected a receiving TD.
On the defensive side of the ball, Joe Goosby finished with two tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Rayshaun Kizer added three tackles and a pass breakup.
The Storm (6-6) were led by QB Randy Hippeard, who threw for 217 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception. Hippeard's favorite target, Joe Hills, had six catches for 67 yards and four TDs.
After Raudabaugh connected with McDaniel for a 14-yard touchdown at the end of the third quarter, the Soul fell apart. Their final four offensive possessions ended with two turnover on downs, a missed field goal and an incomplete pass on the game's final play.
Tampa Bay's offense responded by putting up 22 consecutive points, including a two-point conversion by Hippeard in the final frame.
The Soul will return home to the Wells Fargo Center, where they are 5-0 this season, to host the Pittsburgh Power next Saturday, June 14. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.