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Sharks Sack VooDoo in Home Finale

Sunday July 21, 2013

NEW ORLEANS (July 20, 2013) – The New Orleans VooDoo hung tough but were unable to overcome penalties and sacks as they fell to the Jacksonville Sharks 58-49 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in front of a crowd of 7,183.

The game was essentially a back-and-forth affair for much of the contest, but the Sharks saw blood in the water on defense as they recorded seven sacks and set the single season record with 43 sacks as a team. The VooDoo put up a fight against the playoff-bound Sharks, but they had to play from behind after giving up 21 points in the first quarter.

Jacksonville got it started with a methodical drive that led to a six-yard run by Jeff Hughley. New Orleans quickly answered as quarterback Chris Dixon welcomed back leading receiver Donovan Morgan with a 32-yard strike to tie it. The Sharks came back quickly with a 48-yard touchdown pass from Bernard Morris to receiver Markee White. Two VooDoo turnovers on downs led to two more touchdowns to give Jacksonville a 28-7 advantage in the second quarter.

New Orleans started a 21-point charge in the second quarter as Dixon found Morgan again for a 17-yard score, a 16-yard strike to Courtney Smith, and an eight-yard toss to Quorey Payne. New Orleans helped their cause with a fumble recovery by Chris Brown. They also kept the Sharks in check right before the end of the second quarter. Jacksonville’s only other score in the period was a three-yard touchdown from Morris to White. That made the score 35-28 heading into halftime.

New Orleans took the second half kickoff, but a sack and two incomplete passes led to a missed field goal attempt. Jacksonville capitalized on that as Morris found receiver Jeron Harvey for a 22-yard touchdown on 4th down. Harvey led the way for the Sharks with nine catches for 115 yards and three touchdowns. The VooDoo answered as Morgan grabbed his third touchdown of the game to make the score 42-35. Morgan also had six catches and 112 yards to go with those scores. The Sharks later added a field goal by Marco Capozzoli for a 45-35 edge in the third.

The VooDoo cut the lead as they opened the fourth quarter with a solid drive that ended in a Dixon touchdown pass to L.J. Castile. The ensuing possession by the Sharks was the backbreaker. Jacksonville was backed up to a 3rd and 25 after a holding penalty, a false start, and two incompletions, but the VooDoo jumped offsides to give up a first down. Morris later capped the drive with a three-yard run to make it 52-42. New Orleans kept on fighting, though, as Dixon rebounded after a sack to connect with Castile on a 38-yard score to get within three points.

Jacksonville answered and salted the game away on another touchdown run by Morris. The VooDoo struggled on the late downs as that score was also on fourth down. Morris finished his night 23-36 for 250 yards and five touchdowns. New Orleans had one last chance but the game ended as Dixon was sacked and then intercepted on the game’s final play. Dixon was 18-30 for 262 yards and seven touchdowns, but the seven sacks were too much to overcome.

New Orleans falls to 5-12 on the season, and their playoff hopes are all but dashed unless Cleveland knocks off Orlando this weekend. New Orleans will travel to Orlando next weekend to finish the regular season.

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 TOTAL
Jacksonville 21 14 10 13 58
New Orleans 7 21 7 14 49
Media Awards:

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game – WR Jeron Harvey (JAX)
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game – DL Jerry Turner (JAX)
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game – WR Donovan Morgan (NO)
Cutters Catch of the Game – Harvey TD catch on 4th down
AFL Highlight of the Game – WR Markee White 48-yard TD catch (JAX)

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About the New Orleans VooDoo
The New Orleans VooDoo will play in the New Orleans Arena, an SMG managed facility directly across the street from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, as well as, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the last six home games. Single game tickets for VooDoo regular season home games are on sale now by calling 504-875-3900. For more information call (888) 277-5526 for Vice President and Director of Operations, Jason Coffel. The game is on Rush Radio 99.5, WRNO and on the worldwide web at www.wrno.com as well as on Cox 4 in the New Orleans area, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. The week following each COX game fans can watch replays on CST.To shop all things VooDoo, visit www.voodoostuff.com and get your gear today.

About the AFL
Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased their fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. CBS Sports Network will broadcast an AFL National Game of the Week on Saturday nights for the entire regular season and postseason through the semifinal round. The ArenaBowl XXVI Championship Game will air on the CBS Television Network on August 17, 2013.