TAMPA, Fla. — Garret Lindholm missed a crucial extra point during the fourth quarter, and the Tampa Bay Storm held on for a 35-34 victory Saturday night over the New Orleans VooDoo.
Trailing 35-28 with 12:54 remaining, the VooDoo (2-8) took over at their own 21-yard line following a Tracy Belton pass break up on fourth-and-2. Quarterback Brian Reader completed three straight passes for 26 yards, giving New Orleans first-and-goal at the Storm 3-yard line.
The VooDoo were unable to punch the ball in on four downs but were given a lifeline when defensive back Nick Addison tackled Chris Duvalt before the ball arrived on the goal line. Following a sequence of two penalties in three plays on the VooDoo offense, Reader found Chris Duvalt for a 7-yard touchdown with less than seven minutes to play.
But Lindholm’s extra point clanged off the upright, and the Storm kept their lead at 35-34.
A back-and-forth first half saw New Orleans take a 28-21 lead into halftime. Larry Beavers took the opening kickoff 56 yards for his second return touchdown of the season.
Tampa Bay (4-5) used an eight-play, 44-yard drive that took 6:16 off the clock to tie the score at 7 when Jason Boltus found Julius Gregory on a quick slant for an 8-yard touchdown. Using quick slants to find soft spots in the VooDoo zone, Boltus completed 7 of 12 passes during the first quarter for a pair of touchdowns, the second being a 14-yard jump ball caught by T.T. Tolliver over Cortez Stubbs that gave the Storm a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
New Orleans quickly responded when Johnny Lester took an end-around 4 yards for a score. Cameron McGlenn intercepted Boltus on the next drive, and Reader quickly found Lester for a 19-yard score.
With the score tied at 21, Roosevelt Falls, replacing an injured Kevin Ashak at Fullback, skipped past a pair of Storm defenders from 8 yards, giving the VooDoo the touchdown lead they would carry into halftime.
New Orleans travels to Well Fargo Arena at 5 p.m. next Saturday to face host Philadelphia.