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SaberCats Strong First Half Sinks VooDoo; Rocco Sets VooDoo Single-Season Passing Record

By: Brandon Rizzuto
Kurt Rocco set a new VooDoo record for most passing yards in a single-season in the loss.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (July 7, 2012) – The New Orleans VooDoo (8-8) never quite got in a rhythm on Saturday night, falling 55-31 to the San Jose SaberCats (11-6) at the HP Pavilion.

The VooDoo fell behind 20-3 after the first quarter, but rallied to come within 10 points, 34-24, at halftime.  In the first half, Rocco passed for 141 yards, which was enough to become the VooDoo’s single-season record holder for most passing yards in a season, now standing with 4,697. 

Rocco finished the game with only 152 passing yards due to being injured by a late hit from SaberCats defensive lineman Tim McGill, which resulted in a roughing the passer penalty.  Backup quarterback Brian Zbydniewski was called into duty and guided the offense the rest of the way, finishing with 65 yards passing and a touchdown.

“This was a tough loss that we have to recover from not only physically but emotionally as well,” said VooDoo Head Coach Pat O’Hara.  “San Jose is a good football team; so are we.  Unfortunately, we didn’t play that way tonight and I take responsibility for this loss.”

The VooDoo and SaberCats had a stalemate third quarter until San Jose blocked a 45-yard field goal attempt by Gary Cismesia, which was returned for a touchdown.  The score was the only points of the third quarter. 

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Zbydniewski found Quorey Payne across the middle for 34-yard catch-and-run touchdown to come within 10, 41-31, but it was as close as New Orleans would come to mounting a comeback as the SaberCats scored the game’s final 14 points.

San Jose was led by future AFL Hall of Fame quarterback Mark Grieb, completing 22-of-30 pass attempts for 242 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.  Grieb started the game 10-of-10 passing for 115 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The SaberCats moved one step closer to the playoffs with their win, standing as one of three teams in the National Conference West Division with 11-plus wins.  With the loss, the VooDoo still stand atop the American Conference South Division at 8-8, holding tiebreakers over Georgia (8-8) and Jacksonville (8-8).

The VooDoo travel to the Tampa Bay Storm (7-9) on Saturday, July 14 for an important South Division contest.  Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. CT in the St. Pete Times Forum.

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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 Mercedes-Benz 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.  To shop all things VooDoo, visit www.voodoostuff.com and get your gear today.

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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