For the past few weeks, Power interim head coach Derek Stingley has said his team has shown improvement, despite losses that would seem to provide evidence to the contrary.
After a 56-49 victory last week against Iowa, the team's first non-forfeit win since April, Stingley has an actual result to point to.
"They actually got what they put into it," he said.
The Power (4-11) will try to build its first two-game winning streak against Tampa Bay tonight at Consol Energy Center.
Stingley said he thought the win last week could serve as motivation for a team that lost any hope of postseason football weeks ago.
"I told the guys for every win, when I became the head coach, we're going to celebrate," Stingley said. "It's going to be a celebration. I want you to know that feeling and to want to always get back to that feeling."
The win last week came with last-minute starter Andrico Hines at quarterback. Stingley originally planned to start Bryan Randall, the team's starter the previous eight weeks, but said Hines' performance in practice late last week led to a change.
Hines responded by completing 23 of 39 passes for 284 yards and four touchdowns. Stingley said Hines would get his second consecutive start tonight.
"He was a little rusty," Stingley said. "It was probably a given that he would start a little slow. But I knew as the game went on he would make the throws that he needed to make."
Hines was aided last week by a stellar performance from the Power's defensive line. Anthony DeGrate and Neil Purvis each forced safeties that proved to be crucial in the victory.
"[Tampa Bay has] that on film, and that was a great performance by our defensive line, so I'm pretty sure they're going to come prepared," Stingley said.
The Storm (6-9) currently sits one game out of the final spot in the American Conference playoff race.
The Power's final three opponents -- Tampa Bay, Georgia and Jacksonville -- are all within two games of each other for the third and fourth playoff spots.
Even though the Power's playoff aspirations are long gone, Stingley said he doesn't mind playing the role of spoiler at this point.
"All these teams, they have an opportunity to get into the playoffs," he said. "For us to go into these games knowing we can get a victory and maybe change some teams' fates, that's almost like our playoffs."sportsother
Sam Werner: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SWernerPG.