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Lindholm's Extra Point Miss Costs VooDoo

Saturday May 30, 2015

 TAMPA BAY, FLA. - Garret Lindholm missed a crucial extra point during the fourth quarter, and the Tampa Bay Storm (4-5) held on for a 35-34 victory on Saturday night at Amalie Arena over the New Orleans VooDoo (2-8).

Trailing 35-28 with 12:54 remaining in the game, the New Orleans VooDoo took over with the ball at their own 21 yard line following a Tracy Belton pass break up on fourth and two. Quarterback Brian Reader completed three straight passes for 26 yards, giving New Orleans first and goal at the Storm three yard line. The VooDoo were unable to punch the ball in on four downs, but were given a life line when defensive back Nick Addison tackled Chris Duvalt before the ball arrived on the goal line. Following a sequence of two penalties in three plays on the VooDoo offense, Reader found hometown hero Chris Duvalt for a seven yard touchdown with just under six and a half-minutes to play.

Following over an hour of not kicking a football an ice cold Garrett Lindholm's extra point clanged off the upright, and the Storm kept their lead at 35-34. The VooDoo specials teams almost made up for the miss on the ensuing kickoff, as Lindholm's kick bounced off the net right onto an on rushing Larry Beavers, but the ball cannoned off his knees, and out the back of the endzone for a touchback.

Once again the New Orleans defense would rise to the occasion, forcing a 4th and 12 for the Storm near midfield. Jason Boltus' pass to veteran wide out T.T. Tolliver was broken up by Cortez Stubbs, giving the New Orleans the ball on the Tampa Bay 14 yard line down by a single point at the one-minute warning setting up a frantic finish.

Unfortunately for the VooDoo following two straight incompletions Reader was intercepted by Tampa Bay defensive back James Harrell locking up the victory for the Storm. Earning Riddell Defensive Player of the Game honors, Harrell finished with three tackles, a pair of interceptions, and a crucial recovery of a Roosevelt Falls' fumble inside the Tampa Bay five yard line during the third quarter.

A back-and-forth first half saw New Orleans take 28-21 lead into halftime. Larry Beavers took the opening kickoff 56 yards for his second return touchdown of the season, and the first against the Tampa Bay this season.

Tampa Bay used a methodical eight play 44 yard drive that took 6:16 off the clock to tie the game at seven following Jason Boltus finding Julius Gregory on a quick slant for an eight yard touchdown. Using quick slants to find soft spots in the VooDoo zone, Boltus would complete 7-of-12 passes during the first quarter for a pair of touchdowns, the second being a 14 yard jump ball caught by T.T. Tolliver over Cortez Stubbs giving the Storm a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

New Orleans would quickly respond when Johnny Lester took an end-around four yards for a score evening the score at 14-14 four minutes into the second quarter. Cameron McGlenn intercepted Boltus on the next drive, and Reader would quickly find Lester for a 19 yard score with just under seven minutes to play in the half.

With the score tied at 21 Roosevelt Falls, replacing an injured Kevin Ashak at Fullback, nimbly skipped past a pair of Storm defenders from eight yards out, giving the VooDoo a the touchdown lead they would carry into halftime.

New Orleans travel to Well Fargo Arena next Saturday to battle with the Philadelphia Soul, the game can be watched live on ESPN3, or heard locally on Fox Sports New Orleans 1280 AM. Kickoff is set for 5:00 p.m. CST.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: TBY WR Julius Gregory, nine catches, 73 yards, three touchdowns.
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: TBY DB James Harrell, three tackles, two interceptions, fumble recovery.
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: NOV LB/FB Roosevelt Falls, eight carries 10 yards, touchdown. Three catches, 25 yards, One quarterback hurry.
Cutter Catch of the Game: TBY WR T.T. Tolliver, jump ball touchdown catch over Cortez Stubbs with 1:37 left to play in the first quarter.
AFL Highlight of the Game: TBY DL Everett Dawkins, forced fumble inside the Tampa Bay five yard line late in the third quarter.