Power Earn First Win, 46-43, Over VooDoo
Saturday April 20, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - In a homecoming game for many members of the Power, Pittsburgh picked up their first win of the season by defeating the New Orleans VooDoo by a score of 46-43 at the New Orleans Arena in front of 4,286.
New Orleans (1-3) started the scoring off early when quarterback Kurt Rocco completed a 33-yard drive with a short touchdown pass to Derek Lee. Sparked by a 13-yard kick-off return by Pittsburgh’s P.J. Berry, the Power answered with a touchdown of their own – a 14-yard toss from Jordan Jefferson to Christian Wise. The rest of the first quarter was dominated by the VooDoo, racking up two touchdowns and a safety while shutting out the Power and leading 23-7.
Pittsburgh (1-3) wasn’t giving up that easy, however. After failing to score in the final minutes of the first quarter, the Power scored 19 unanswered points to open the second with Jefferson throwing for two touchdowns. Highlighted by an 18-yard interception return by Sergio Gilliam and two forced fumbles, the Power defense held New Orleans to only 6 points. The VooDoo held on to keep the lead at the half, 29-26.
Pittsburgh wasted no time getting back on top in the second half. Mike Washington caught a 14-yard pass from Jefferson to put the Power up 33-29. With Rocco going down at the end of the first half, quarterback Zack Eskridge took over under center for the VooDoo. After a few incomplete passes, Eskridge finally connected with Lee to score his first touchdown of the contest. His second, a 1-yard rushing touchdown, came on New Orleans’ next drive. Just as things looked to be getting out of reach for Pittsburgh, Berry (the Russell Athletic Offensive Player Of The Game) silenced the home crowd with a 47-yard touchdown (the Cutters Catch Of The Game) from Jefferson to end the quarter with the VooDoo still leading, 43-40.
Picking right up where he left off, former VooDoo wide receiver Berry scored once again to put Pittsburgh up 46-43, after New Orleans failed to convert on their first drive. Pittsburgh would hold onto the lead to earn their first victory and highest point total of the young season.
Pittsburgh quarterback Shane Austin entered the game towards the end of the fourth quarter after Jefferson suffered an undisclosed injury.
The Power look to collect their first home win on Sunday, April 28 when the San Antonio Talons visit CONSOL Energy Center. Game time is set for 2:00 p.m. EDT.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
P.J. Berry – Pittsburgh
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
James Bryant – New Orleans
J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME
Derek Lee – New Orleans
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME
Pittsburgh’s P.J. Berry’s 47-Yard Touchdown Catch in the 3rd Quarter
AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
New Orleans’ Quorey Payne’s Kick Return Touchdown in the 1st Quarter