SIOUX FALLS, SD - The Sioux Falls Storm played in a rematch of the 2016 United Bowl against the Spokane Empire on Saturday, May 6th at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center where the Storm emerged with a 62-32 victory.
The Empire won the toss and deferred to the second half. Empire kicker Brendon Garcia's kickoff hit the turf near the ten yard line, but bounced back where it was recovered by the Empire at the Storm 11 yard line. Spokane QB Charles Dowdell scored on a six-yard run and the Empire were the first to score, giving them a 0-7 lead. The Storm would tie the game after a nine-yard quarterback keeper by Lorenzo Brown, ending the first quarter with a 7-7 game.
The Sioux Falls Storm would score back-to-back touchdowns to begin the second quarter. First, Lorenzo Brown would connect with Drew Powell for an 11-yard touchdown and then Lorenzo Brown would plunge in a one-yard run, giving the Storm 21-7 lead. Spokane would cut the lead to 21-14 to end the half after quarterback Charles Dowdell hit Samuel Charles for a 12-yard touchdown.
The third quarter would be a back and forth battle. Sioux Falls would score first after Eric Shufford took in a five-yard rushing touchdown, extending the Storm's lead to 28-14. Empire quarterback Dowdell found Charles again from 26 yards out, but Garcia's extra point was wide left, putting the score at 28-20. Rolandan Finch would end the third quarter after he scampered into the end zone from nine yards out, putting the Storm up 35-20.
The Spokane Empire would start the fourth quarter with a Robert Brown interception four yards deep in the end zone and returned the pick up the right sideline for the touchdown, the Empire would go for two but it was intercepted and the Empire were down 35-26. The Storm scored twice on runs from Shufford and Lorenzo Brown and then increased their lead to 56-26 after a Tyler Knight five-yard interception return. The Empire's backup quarterback Aaron Wilmer found Samuel Charles on a 17-yard lob, to make the score 56-32. Claude Davis would end the game after he returned the ensuing onside kick for an eight-yard touchdown, bring the final score to 62-32.
Lorenzo Brown completed four of eight passes for 49 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, he also rushed 17 times for 70 yards and three scores. Robbie Rouse had eight rushes for 31 yards. Eric Shufford scored on both of his rushing attempts. Jared Elmore caught three passes for 38 yards. Knight tallied 8.5 total tackles and 1.5 sacks to go along with his interception. Carlton Watkins also had an interception for the Storm.
Sioux Falls improves to 9-1 on the season while Spokane falls to 7-3.The Storm will be back in action on Saturday, May 13th when they travel to Green Bay for a 7:05pm kickoff.