NEW ORLEANS — With one spectacular catch, Darius Reynolds ended the New Orleans VooDoo’s second fourth-quarter rally in as many weeks.
Reynolds hauled in a one-handed, 39-yard touchdown Saturday night, giving the Iowa Barnstormers enough momentum to leave the New Orleans Arena with a 48-34 victory.
The play served as an example of how close the VooDoo (1-1) were to opening the Arena Football League season at 2-0 for the second time in team history, but were inches short of accomplishing the goal, the motif of a troubling offensive game.
“We were unable to convert possessions into points,” VooDoo coach Pat O’Hara said. “Shame on us.”
Iowa, meanwhile, had no such issues. On Reynolds’ score, he was covered closely by New Orleans native Delvin Breaux.
“He had my arm,” Reynolds said. “But (quarterback J.J. Raterink) threw the most perfect pass I’ve ever caught.”
The ball fell in Reynold’s right hand as he ran into the end zone, helping Iowa (2-0) stay undefeated.
The VooDoo tried to continue their rally. Quarterback Kurt Rocco led a six-play, 42-yard drive ending with a 16-yard TD to Donovan Morgan.
But the Iowa’s Collin Taylor grabbed the VooDoo’s onside kick. Four plays later, Raterink rushed from one yard out, his fifth score of the contest.
Rocco was unable to shake off his opening-week struggles as he and his receivers failed to connect on open passes — potential TD passes — because of timing issues. Rocco finished with 259 yards on 23-of-26 passing. He also threw four TDs and two interceptions.
“We came out pretty hot and on that second drive... inconsistent,” Rocco said.
They were problems the VooDoo never overcame.
Derek Lee (two TDs) and Donovan Morgan (TD) caught seven passes apiece for the VooDoo, but their impact was lessened by timing issues. Rocco missed Morgan twice in the first half on long passes that could have gone for scores.
The VooDoo enter their bye before returning to action April 12 at the Jacksonville Sharks.