Gladiators Halt Rally, Hold off VooDoo
Saturday June 13, 2015
NEW ORLEANS - Despite a valiant defensive effort in the first half and a fourth quarter rally, the New Orleans VooDoo (2-10) fall to the Cleveland Gladiators (7-5) 51-34 at the Graveyard Friday night.
The VooDoo fought to the end, scoring three touchdowns in the final quarter of play. Trailing 37-13, quarterback Adam Kennedy found receiver Charles McClain for an electrifying 24-yard touchdown to make it 37-20 with 12:19 remaining in the game. After the next Cleveland drive stalled, Kennedy connected with McClain again for a score from 14 yards out to cut the lead to 37-27 with only 2:45 to play.
With just under a minute to play in the game, the Gladiators responded on the next possession after the VooDoo were unable to recover an onside kick. Quarterback Shane Austin tossed a five-yard touchdown pass to receiver Collin Taylor, his third of the night, to extend the Cleveland lead, 44-27.
Kennedy immediately answered finding McClain for the third time in the quarter to again cut the deficit to 10 points, but another failed onside kick attempt helped the Gladiators salt the game away after Dominick Goodman hauled in his second touchdown reception with 29 seconds to play.
The teams traded scores and missed extra points in the first quarter, but Cleveland's defense controlled the game and held the VooDoo scoreless for almost thirty minutes after Roger Jackson's 41 yard touchdown grab in the first quarter.
New Orleans ended the scoring drought as Kennedy pushed the ball across the goal line on a quarterback keeper with 6:06 left to play in the third quarter ending a steak of three straight games without a point in the third quarter.
Kennedy went 18-30 for 260 yards and four touchdowns. McClain led all receivers with a game-high 144 yards on eight receptions and three touchdowns. Roger Jackson had with five receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown.
The VooDoo head into the bye week then get back to action on June 27 as they travel to Orlando. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. CST at the Amway Center. Fans can stream the game live on ESPN3.com or on the WatchESPN Mobile App. Live audio is available through Fox Sports Radio 1280 AM or on the iHeartRadio App.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game - WR Dominick Goodman (CLE): 13 rec, 128 yds, 2 TDs
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game - DB Cortez Stubbs (NO): 4 tackles, two passes broken up.
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game - WR Charles McClain (NO): 8 rec, 144 yds, 3 TDs.
Cutters Catch of the Game - Goodman 24-yd TD rec with interference: 13:25, second quarter.
AFL Highlight of the Game - WR Roger Jackson (NO) 41-yd TD catch: 3:29, first quarter.