The Storm’s latest indoor football championship felt a lot like the first.
Way back in 2005, a Storm team that struggled through the regular season got hot at the end and advanced to the championship against the Sioux City Bandits. That one came down to a field goal, and Cody Butler’s long try for Sioux City fell short, giving Sioux Falls its first of what would be six championships in the next eight seasons.
Saturday night at the Arena, a Storm team that won just half its games on the road and had to fight all season just to make the IFL playoffs found itself clinging to a three-point lead in the final seconds. Joe Houston of the Nebraska Danger came on to try a 45-yard field goal, and his attempt went wide right, giving the Storm a 43-40 United Bowl win and their seventh indoor football championship.
Photo: Clinton Solomon catches the go-ahead score with under 3 minutes remaining. Tom Slattery - Tslat Media - www.tslat.com - United Bowl 2013
The quarterback for the Storm on each of those nights? Terrance Bryant.
The adversity Bryant faced eight years ago, when he was still in his 20s, involved fighting to keep his job and earning the trust of his coach, Kurtiss Riggs. This year, Bryant fought against the clock, a 36-year-old brought into the fold by Riggs after over two years in retirement to salvage a season that was in danger of falling off the tracks.
But, as Bryant said Saturday night, with fans tugging on him for photos and autographs, he didn’t come back just to save the Storm from embarrassment. He came back to do for the Storm what he did every year from 2005-2008. Deliver a title.
Though Bryant’s legs are a little creakier and his arm maybe not quite as strong, he was solid all season, and then, as champions do, he saved his best for when it mattered most.
The veteran southpaw completed 16 of 24 passes for 182 yards and four touchdowns, earning United Bowl MVP honors in a game where his counterpart – regular-season MVP Jameel Sewell – was almost unstoppable.
Bryant now has enough rings to fill an entire hand, but this one was special.Read more...