Josh Bush finished with 122 yards receiving yards, topping the 1,000-yard plateau for the first time in a single-season for his career.
NEW ORLEANS (June 9, 2012) – The New Orleans VooDoo (5-7) fell 1-yard short in the closing seconds of tying the game, as the San Antonio Talons (9-3) recorded their sixth consecutive victory on Saturday night in The Graveyard, winning 53-46.
VooDoo quarterback Kurt Rocco attempted to tie the game as time expired, finding wide receiver Quorey Payne open in the middle of the field for a 7-yard gain; however, Payne was tackled up against the wall by Talons Ken Fontenette with no time left on the clock.
“It is a tough loss,” said VooDoo Head Coach Pat O’Hara. “I believe that once we go back and look at the film we will see that we hurt ourselves with miscues and penalties. We had 15 and they had 10; silly mistakes were a disappointment”
The VooDoo were penalized 15 times for 90 yards and were 2 of 8 on third down conversions. Despite the mishaps, the VooDoo still were within striking distance at the end against one of the best teams in the AFL.
Rocco finished 27-of-42 passing for 362 yards, 6 touchdowns and one interception. Rocco’s two favorite targets were L.J. Castile and Josh Bush, finishing with 159 and 122, respectively. For Bush, it marked the fourth consecutive game with 100-plus yards receiving and 3-plus touchdown receptions.
The VooDoo started the game strong with a 36-yard-kick-off return by Bush, and the drive ended with the wide receiver Quorey Payne on the receiving end of a 21-yard pass from Rocco.
The Talons were quick to respond with a 5-play touchdown drive by quarterback Aaron Garcia completing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jomo Wilson to tie the game at 7-7. The first quarter continued to be neck and neck as the half ended with the VooDoo and Talons tied at 14-14.
As the second quarter began with a couple VooDoo false starts and Rocco throwing two incomplete passes, VooDoo made it to the Talons 23-yard line with a good field goal attempt by kicker Phil Marfuggi.
Both teams made vital mistakes throughout the second quarter with a total of 11 penalties, which kept the game close and only allowed each team to make one touchdown. The second quarter ended with the Talons Fred Shaw intercepting Rocco, eventually leading to a 19-yard field goal from Talons kicker Stefan Demos as time expired in the first half.
The second half began with VooDoo kicking off to the Talons. After two incomplete passes by Garcia, he completed a 38-yard touchdown pass to Wilson keeping the Talons at an eight-point lead over the VooDoo. Rocco and Bush made two touchdown connections putting them behind by only one at the end of the third quarter.
The VooDoo started strong in the fourth quarter with an interception by defensive back Demarcus Robinson leading to a Rocco 20-yard touchdown throw to Bush to put the VooDoo in the lead 43-38.
Towards the end of the game, the VooDoo strategy was to make sure they had the ball last, "you don't want them to ink it, score a touchdown, and win the game," said O'Hara.
Talons wide receiver Brent Holmes received a touchdown pass from Garcia, taking the lead and allowing the VooDoo to take over the ball, which didn't end in the way the VooDoo wanted.
Rocco took several shots down the field and towards the end zone, with the final falling 1-yard short at a potential tie.
“We played hard and it came down to the wire,” said Rocco. “As a team, we will get better. Cleveland will be a tough task and we will be expecting their best.”
The VooDoo travel to the Cleveland Gladiators on Saturday, June 16 with kickoff at The “Q” slated for 6:30 p.m. CT. VooDoo Head Coach Pat O'Hara Post-Game Press Conference
VooDoo QB Kurt Rocco and WR Josh Bush Post-Game Press Conference
Russell Athletic Player of the Game: Kurt Rocco, NOV Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Demarcus Robinson, NOV JLS Ironman of the Game: Brent Holmes, SAT AFL Playmaker of the Game: Josh Bush, NOV Cutters Catch of the Game: Josh Bush, NOV finger-tip TD reception in 3rd quarter Spalding Highlight of the Game: Burl Toler, SAT one-handed 4th quarter TD catch National Guard MVP: Kurt Rocco, NOV
About the New Orleans VooDoo
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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.