ArenaBowl XVII

ArenaBowl XVII

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ArenaBowl XVII

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ArenaBowl XVII was played on June 22, 2003 at the St. Pete Times Forum (formerly the Ice Palace) in Tampa, Florida before a sellout crowd of 20,496. The Tampa Bay Storm earned their AFL record fifth ArenaBowl title, by defeating the Arizona Rattlers, 43-29. The win was just months after the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII, making Tampa Bay the first metropolitan area to simutaneously hold both NFL and AFL championships.

Game summary

Hall of Fame coach Tim Marcum earned his seventh ArenaBowl title as his Tampa Bay Storm took a first quarter lead and never relinquished it, defeating fellow Hall of Fame coach Danny White's Arizona Rattlers by 14.

The teams traded scores in the first quarter, but early in the second Tampa Bay lineman Kelvin Kinney scooped up a Sherdrick Bonner fumble - one of four lost Rattler fumbles on the day - and ran 26 yards for a rather controversial touchdown. Though it appeared Kinney had thrown the ball in the air in celebration before crossing the goal line, the touchdown stood, and the Storm took a 20-10 lead. Though Arizona answered with a Bo Kelly touchdown run to close within 20-16, the Storm used two second-half touchdown passes from veteran backup quarterback Pat O'Hara to Lawrence Samuels to keep the Rattlers at bay. The 34-year-old O'Hara, who defeated the Storm in ArenaBowl XII as the quarterback for the Orlando Predators, had thrown only 14 passes all year but was pressed into action when starter John Kaleo was...
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