If you can’t beat them with passing, try running it.
If not running, try a field goal.
Garrett Lindholm accomplished the later Saturday night for the New Orleans VooDoo, converting a 41-yarder as time expired to seal a 66-63 win over the Spokane Shock at the Smoothie King Center.
His kick, the longest this season in the Arena Football League, ended the VooDoo’s four-game skid.
“It was a very redeeming moment because two kicks earlier, I hit the right upright and the left upright, and they scored on one of them, so coach (Dean Cokinos) wasn’t real happy,” said Lindholm,” who also has the second-longest kick this season in the league (35).
Before Lindholm’s field goal, his fifth of the season, fullback Roosevelt Falls rushed 11 times for 39 yards and a franchise-record five touchdowns. His score, a 7-yard run with 4:52 left in the fourth quarter, gave the VooDoo (2-4) a 63-48 lead.
Their combined play Saturday night, along with three interceptions on defense, moved the VooDoo (2-4) closer to Cokinos’ vision. This week alone, Cokinos added three new players, still searching for the right players to transform this one-time winning franchise.
“It feels good because we put a lot of work in, trying to figure out who was going to run with us, who was going to have the type of heart we’re looking for,” said Falls, an Atlanta native who played college football at Louisiana Tech (2007-10).
The VooDoo weren’t perfect; they allowed Spokane to rally from a 15-point deficit in the final five minutes when Spokane quarterback Carson Coffman (404 passing yards, seven TDs) threw for one score and ran for another, the final score with eight seconds left.
But the VooDoo placed their game in the hands — actually the foot — of Lindholm.
“We’re building, so every game is learning,” Cokinos said. “And we overcame, kept playing, and that’s what you want.”
VooDoo backup quarterback Brian Reader took over for Adam Kennedy in the second quarter, finishing with 206 yards and three TDs on 15-for-26 passing. Before exiting, Kennedy passed for 71 yards on 7-for-11 passing. Receivers Jackie Chambers and Roger “Spiderman” Jackson, who signed this week, combined for 12 catches for 119 yards and one score.
The VoDoo return to action next Saturday against the Arizona Rattlers, which played last season in ArenaBowl XXVII, losing to the Cleveland Gladiators.