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P.J. Berry Sets New AFL Records In VooDoo’s Season Finale Loss

By: Brandon Rizzuto
P.J. Berry finished the 2011 season with 3,708 all-purpose yards, setting a new AFL record.

ORLANDO, Fla. (July 23, 2011) – Although the New Orleans VooDoo (3-15) ended its 2011 Resurrection campaign with a 62-44 loss to the playoff bound Orlando Predators (11-7) at the Amway Center on Saturday night, it was P.J. Berry taking the VooDoo off with a high-note by setting two new AFL records.

Berry needed 254 all-purpose yards in the team’s season finale to surpass Antonio Chatman’s 3,669 set in 2002 with the Chicago Rush, and reached that exact mark following a 12-yard touchdown run with 55 seconds left in the game to bring the VooDoo within 11 points. 

Berry would go on to have 292 all-purpose yards in the game, finishing with a new AFL single-season all-purpose yards record of 3,708.  The Hopewell, Va. native also set a new AFL single-season record in kickoffs by becoming the first player in AFL history to register 100 in a single season.

“It is a great accomplishment for me, but I think that it is an even bigger team accomplishment.  I couldn’t have done any of it without my teammates,” said Berry in a post-game interview.  “I thanked all of them, every member of the team and coaching staff for putting me in position to make it happen.”

Berry finished the 2011 season with 2,068 total return yards, 1,593 receiving, and 47 rushing for a 41 total touchdowns.  His 2,043 kickoff returns is also the third most in a single-season in AFL history.

“All the yards, records and accolades are great, something I will cherish,” added Berry.  “But I’d easily give it all up to be in the playoffs, competing for a championship.  My teammates know that.  We all wanted to win more than anything.”

The VooDoo started testing the scoreboard first with a 6-yard touchdown run by fullback Tommy Taggart to go up 6-0 in the first quarter.  Chris Maraviglia’s point-after-attempt failed, and New Orleans took the early advantage.

Taggart finished with a career-high 40 yards on the ground on seven carries for one touchdown.

The Predators and VooDoo went on to trade scores until the second quarter when Orlando put back-to-back touchdowns with its lead-taking score following a VooDoo turnover.  Orlando extended its two-point, 14-12, lead at the time with a Marlon Moye-Moore 1-yard touchdown run with the 6:07 left in the first half following the turnover to lead 21-12.

New Orleans would come within three – 21-18 – on the ensuing offensive series via a Danny Wimprine 23-yard touchdown pass to Berry.  Wimprine finished 13-of-31 passing for 159 yards and two touchdowns, but did have three interceptions in the loss.

Wimprine’s scoring strike to Berry were the last points that the VooDoo would score before the half, while the Predators kept their pace, and built a 35-18 advantage at halftime.  New Orleans never could make up the deficit, losing the season finale.

The VooDoo defense was led by Roland Cola with 7.5 total tackles (seven solo) with Damon Mason following with 6.5 (six solo).  Mason was honored at halftime by Orlando as one the franchise’s 20 greatest players of all-time.

Leading Orlando in the loss was quarterback Nick Hill with 296 yards passing for seven touchdowns.  Hill was 24-of-32 with one interception, while also rushing four times for 38 yards.  Hill’s leading receiver was Bobby Sippio with 14 catches for 166 yards and four touchdowns. 

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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 Louisiana Superdome.  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.

About the AFL
Since its inception in 1987, the AFL has afforded the fast-paced and exciting game of Arena Football to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country.  The NFL Network will once again broadcast an AFL National Game of the Week for the entire regular and post season on Friday nights at 8:00 pm EST, culminating with the ArenaBowl Championship Game in August.



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