Power Lose Heart-Breaker in New Orleans
Miss tying FG as time expires to lose, 48-51
(New Orleans, April 20, 2012)
Despite leading most of the game, the Power makes key second half mistakes and allow the VooDoo to take the lead with less than a minute to remaining to win 48-51 at the Graveyard. The win brings the VooDoo to 3-3 while the Power falls to 2-4.
Early in the game, Power quarterback Derek Cassidy was sharp, completing passes at will, often to an inspired PJ Berry, who returned his first kickoff return chance for a touchdown against his former team. The VooDoo stayed in striking distance however as Kurt Rocco also sustained drives, finding his receivers in the end-zone. The half ended with the Power holding a 3-point lead at 34-31.
The second half, while less explosive offensively, also was tightly contested, with both teams trading scores and with the lead changing four times before the final buzzer. After a Power turnover, the VooDoo struck first on a Rocco 20-yard pass to Greg Ellingson. The Power struck back to retake the lead at 41-38 when Cassidy hooked up with Mike Washington on a 4 yard pass capping a 10 play drive which took up 7:20 – nearly half of the 3rd quarter. The VooDoo responded quickly with a one-play drive – a 42 yard toss from Rocco to Ellingson, and when the 2 point attempt failed, the VooDoo lead was 3 at 41-44.
After trading fruitless possessions, the Power retook the lead early in the fourth quarter as Cassidy found Christian Wise for a score. The rest of the quarter was a battle of attrition, when finally, an inopportune Power penalty contributed to a VooDoo score with :34 seconds remaining in the game. Penalties again hurt the Power as the ensuing kickoff return by Berry was nullified leaving the Power with a long field and little time. After picking up a few yards, the Power went for a field goal to tie at the buzzer, but failed to convert the kick and extend the game.
Statistically, both Rocco and Cassidy threw for 5 scores and only one interception a piece. PJ Berry had a big game in his return to New Orleans, contributing 242 return yards including the 57-yard return for a touchdown. He also added 44 receiving yards and a passing touchdown, putting himself in contention to win a third consecutive JLS Ironman of the Week recognition. Randy Hymes also had a strong game, catching 9 passes for 97 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The Power return home to the CONSOL Energy Center to face division rival the Cleveland Gladiators on April 28th during their Hall of Fame Game; where Pro Football Hall of Famers Jack Ham & Mel Blount will be signing autographs alongside Lynn Swann after the game.