In a game with multiple ties and fourth-quarter momentum changes, the San Antonio Talons eventually defeated the New Orleans VooDoo 38-35 at the Smoothie King Center.
Garrett Lindholm kicked a 21-yard field goal with no time left in overtime to give the Talons (3-15) a season-ending two-game winning streak.
“First of all, I’m proud of our guys. They fought hard,” said New Orleans coach Pat O’ Hara. “We played better football in the last month of the season. There’s no question.
“We’ve been way more competitive. For a while there we weren’t even competitive.”
It looked like rookie quarterback Adam Kennedy was going to win Saturday’s finale when he leaped into the end zone. While that score was negated because of an illegal formation call, he had the same opportunity with about a minute left in the game.
Kennedy completed 25 of 42 passes for 205 yards and one touchdown. Since the team already lost Ryan Perrilloux, Kurt Rocco, and BJ Hall to injuries, O’Hara was glad to see Kennedy flourish in the last few weeks of the season.
“He sure did some good things in the last month. That’s something to be excited about,” O’Hara said.
After multiple tries to get the ball across the goal line, San Antonio’s Mark Weivoda recovered a fumble and ran it back for what looked to be the game-winning touchdown. He was ruled down at the Talons 2, and after Josh Jasper missed a 42-yard field goal attempt, the game went to overtime tied at 35-35.
San Antonio’s quarterback Matthew Bassuener threw a touchdown pass to PJ Berry that tied the game for the fifth time at 35-35 with 11:48 left.
While the Talons and VooDoo (3-15) were playing hard in the last stretch of the season, the two teams traded touchdowns in the first half by sticking with familiar quarterback-receiver combinations.
Both squads were nearly identical in offense at halftime as the Talons had 135 total yards and New Orleans had 119.
Kennedy completed 12 of 17 passes for 113 yards and three touchdowns.
With 11:03 left in the first quarter Kennedy threw a 19-yard TD pass to Chris Duvalt to give New Orleans a 7-0 lead. San Antonio answered when Bassuener tossed a 13-yard pass to Clinton Solomon to tie the game at 7-7 with 6:20 left in the first. Kennedy made a 2-yard touchdown run with a minute left in the first for a 14-7 lead.
The score was tied 21-21 in the second quarter, but the VooDoo took a 28-21 lead with 14 seconds in the half when Kennedy and Duvalt connected for a 4-yard scoring pass. San Antonio tied it with no time left in the half when Bassuener hooked up with Solomon again, this one a 28-yard pass that tied the game at 28.
VooDoo lineman Nyrere Aumaitre caught a 20-yard pass from Kennedy that put the ball at the 3, then Kennedy made his second rushing touchdown to give New Orleans a 35-28 lead with 3:18 left in the third.
“It’s been a long season,” O’Hara said. “We’ll see, moving forward, what the plan is for 2015.”