Second Half Surge Fuels Power over VooDoo
Saturday April 20, 2013
NEW ORLEANS (April 19, 2013) – The VooDoo closes out their final game in the New Orleans Arena this season with a tough loss to the Pittsburgh Power, 46-43.
New Orleans (1-3) dominated the first quarter as the team jumped out to a 23-7 lead as quarterback Kurt Rocco tossed two touchdown passes, and VooDoo linebacker James Bryant sacked Pittsburgh quarterback Jordan Jefferson in the end zone for a safety. VooDoo kick returner Quorey Payne took the free kick 57 yards for a touchdown.
Pittsburgh (1-3) rattled off three straight scores in the second quarter as Jefferson tossed two long touchdowns – a 25-yarder to receiver Perry Baker and a 28-yarder to receiver P.J. Berry. Those scores sandwiched an 18-yard interception return for a touchdown by Pittsburgh defensive back Sergio Gilliam. New Orleans closed out the first half as Rocco scored on a 1-yard run to make the score 29-26. Rocco finished the night 7-13 for 86 yards and two touchdowns with the interception.
The teams split the third quarter 14 points a piece. Jefferson opened the seesaw third quarter with a 14-yard touchdown pass to receiver Mike Washington to take a 33-29 lead. The VooDoo answered as quarterback Zack Eskridge checked into the ballgame and threw a quick strike to receiver Derek Lee for a touchdown from four yards out. The VooDoo’s receiving corps was depleted a bit by the loss of Donovan Morgan to injury in the first half. Leading receiver Courtney Smith was also a late scratch for tonight’s game.
Eskridge helped make it a ten point lead with a 1-yard touchdown run, but the Power pulled within three as Jefferson found Berry on a 47-yard touchdown bomb late in the third quarter. Jefferson had his best start of the season finishing 19-30 for 223 yards and five touchdowns. He also carried the ball eight times for 30 yards. Eskridge was 8-15 for 29 yards and a touchdown, but he was also sacked three times.
The Power took the lead for good when Berry scored on a 2-yard touchdown to make the score 46-43. The VooDoo had two additional possessions in the fourth quarter, but those led to a missed field goal attempt and a turnover on downs. New Orleans also wasn’t helped by three lost fumbles for a total of four turnovers on the night. Pittsburgh was penalized 17 times, but they overcame those mistakes with big plays on offense to notch their first win.
New Orleans loses their third straight, but the team will look for some “Dome Game” magic. They begin their six-game stint of home games in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome next Saturday (April 27) against the San Jose SaberCats.
Score by Quarter
Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
PIT 7 19 14 6 46
NO 23 6 14 0 43
Russell Athletic Player of the Game – P.J. Berry
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game – James Bryant
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game – Derek Lee
Cutters Catch of the Game – P.J. Berry, 47-yard TD
AFL Highlight of the Game – Quorey Payne Kickoff Return TD