The VooDoo’s season of optimism has quickly transformed into a campaign in scoring futility.
Hosting one of the Arena Football League’s two winless teams, the VooDoo were bullied Friday night at the Smoothie King Center, its quarterbacks bruised and its defense embarrassed.
By the time the San Antonio Talons exited, winners of a 68-33 rout, they had reversed roles with the VooDoo, losers of four of their first five games.
“It’s unacceptable, our play,” VooDoo coach Pat O’Hara said. “We play good enough defensively. But on offense, we’re not anywhere near where we need to be.”
One week ago, the VooDoo set a franchise-record for their lowest scoring output (14) during a road loss at the Pittsburgh Power. Friday’s final product wasn’t much better, as the VooDoo managed just two scores in the second half, including Ryan Perrilloux’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Eley with 32 seconds left, their loss already sealed.
The reasons behind this season’s horrific start vary, same as the VooDoo’s troubles Friday against San Antonio (1-5). The lone constant, though, has been the VooDoo’s inability to score.
Neither starting quarterback Kurt Rocco nor Perrilloux were effective, and Rocco was injured in the second quarter after being sacked.
“The defense puts us in position to win games every week,” said Rocco, who passed for 103 yards and three two touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions and was sacked twice. “It’s miscues by the quarterbacks, it’s miscues by the receivers, miscues by the O-line. If it’s not one person, it’s another.”
Perrilloux (78 passing yards, two TDs) also threw two interceptions, giving the VooDoo defense a shorter field to defend. It proved to be problematic against San Antonio, which entered the game as the second-lowest scoring offense in the 14-team league.
Not on Friday.
Shane Boyd passed for 200 yards and four touchdowns, connecting twice apiece with D.J. Stephens and Robert Quiroga.
After trailing 26-20 at halftime, the VooDoo were outscored 42-13 in the second half, including San Antonio’s five consecutive scoring drives, starting midway through the third quarter with Boyd’s back-to-back TD passes to Quiroga.
On the VooDoo’s first play from scrimmage after the San Antonio scores, Rocco attempted a toss left to Eley, which bounced off newly-acquired offensive lineman Ben Ossai. Defensive lineman Brandon Sesay recovered in the end zone, giving San Antonio a 54-27 lead.
The ensuing VooDoo possession ended when Kelvin Rodgers jumped in front of L.J. Castile near the left wall, scoring on a 14-yard interception.
Perrilloux entered but was intercepted by Kyle Whitehurtst, leading to yet another Talons score.