TAMPA — Fireworks will light up Tampa Bay area skies Monday, but the only things exploding Friday night at the St. Pete Times Forum were the Storm's playoff hopes.
New Orleans came in on a six-game losing streak but might have dashed Tampa Bay's already-slim postseason aspirations, defeating the Storm 64-33 before 12,016, the second-largest home crowd of the season.
"We were kind of flat," coach Dave Ewart said. "I don't know what that was from. Was it lack of fire? I don't think so. You can't have the turnovers we had."
The Storm (6-9) took a 25-24 lead on a 2-yard Amarri Jackson reception with 34 seconds to play in the first half, but things came unglued from there. The VooDoo (3-12) — the league's worst team — then reeled off 26 unanswered points.
"That was just terrible," Ewart said. "Our offense has been terrible all year. We need to figure out how to get better."
During that stretch, Brian Zbydniewski threw two interceptions before being lifted for Danny Southwick, whose first pass was intercepted by Alvin Jackson and returned for a 20-yard touchdown to make it 57-25. Storm quarterbacks finished with four interceptions and twice turned the ball over on downs.
"You can't throw the ball to the other team," Ewart said. "We gave up 21 (points) on offense. You're not going to win (that way) if it's flag football, peewee or semipro."
The VooDoo, which allowed six sacks in Tampa Bay's 46-40 win at New Orleans to open the season, did a good job protecting quarterback D. Bryant. The VooDoo also utilized three-step drops to neutralize the Storm's pass rush, which finished with just one sack. The Storm was without starting defensive backs Marcus Udell and Deonte Bolden, then lost DB Erick McIntosh after he injured his hamstring in the third quarter.
Amarri Jackson led the Storm with 11 catches for 123 yards and a pair of scores. Zbydniewski finished 17-of-26 for 189 yards, four TDs and three interceptions.
The Storm travels to Tulsa on July 9 before returning home for its final two games, against Georgia and San Jose.