Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Storm rushes past New Orleans VooDoo 46-40

The VooDoo’s Hutch Gonzales finds himself in the grips of the Storm’s Michael Hawthorne.

MATTHEW HINTON | Times-Picayune

The VooDoo’s Hutch Gonzales finds himself in the grips of the Storm’s Michael Hawthorne.

NEW ORLEANS — Dave Ewart's victory in his first game as Storm coach wasn't conventional by Arena Football League standards, but perhaps that's fitting since the way he got the job was unconventional.

Ewart, promoted from assistant head coach four days before training camp after Tim Marcum resigned, saw his team fail to throw a touchdown pass, yet it still outscored the New Orleans VooDoo 46-40 in the season opener for both teams Friday night at the New Orleans Arena.

Marcum resigned amid a controversy concerning racially insensitive and pornographic e-mails found on his work computer.

Tampa Bay, which scored five rushing touchdowns and never trailed against the VooDoo, next plays Thursday at Utah.

"This is a passing league, and our running attack gave us a second dimension," said Storm quarterback Mike Potts, who completed 20 of 35 passes for 165 yards in his first start. "I think that caught New Orleans off guard."

Michael Lindsey sandwiched touchdown runs of 3 yards and 1 yard around a 57-yard kickoff return for a score, and former USF quarterback Grant Gregory scored on runs of 2 yards and 1 yard to lead the Tampa Bay offense, which was outgained 224-168 and withstood three scores by the VooDoo's P.J. Berry, who caught seven passes for 73 yards and finished with 233 all-purpose yards.

The Storm recorded five sacks — four by linebacker Cliff Dukes, who set a single-game franchise record.

Tampa Bay led 33-21 at halftime, but Berry caught a 10-yard pass from Danny Wimprine to get New Orleans within 33-28 late in the third quarter. Lindsey answered with his kickoff return for a touchdown and a 39-28 lead.

"I saw a wall," he said, "then I saw a seam and all I had to do was beat the kicker (Jonathan Ruffin.)"

The VooDoo drove to the Storm 9 early in the fourth, but on fourth and 6 defensive back Erick McIntosh broke up Wimprine's pass to Kris Peters.

New Orleans held Tampa Bay on its next possession and struck on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Wimprine to Berry.

Tampa Bay increased the lead to 46-34 when Lindsey ran 1 yard on fourth down with 56.8 seconds left.

"It seemed like as soon as we got the momentum, we gave it right back to them," New Orleans coach Derek Stingley said. "We need to make better stops. We cannot allow them to continue to run the ball down our throats."

The VooDoo completed the scoring on Berry's 1-yard run on an untimed down after offsetting penalties as time ran out.

"I told our guys that if we didn't turn the ball over, cut down on our mistakes and were more physical then we'd win the game," Ewart said, "and that's how we won."

Storm 46

N. Orleans 40

Tampa Bay Storm rushes past New Orleans VooDoo 46-40 03/11/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 12, 2011 12:34am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL Week 3: What we learned


    Take the knee … well, not NOW

     1. Photo of Roger Mooney for Times Sports.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Chris Archer's primary problem Sunday, as in much of September, was a lack of slider command. When he can't throw it where he wants, and doesn't have the confidence in the changeup to throw it often, he can't win with just his fastball.

  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. Bradenton high school senior Chasten Whitfield inspires young anglers


    MADEIRA BEACH — The kids lined up single file, snow cones in hand, a procession of sweaty, excited grade schoolers watching Chasten Whitfield throw a cast net.

    Whitfield, a senior at Bradenton Manatee, demonstrates how to throw a cast net at the FishKids tournament in Madeira Beach. She also taught knot tying.
  5. Wreck helps Kyle Busch take control of Monster Cup's ISM 300

    Auto racing

    LOUDON, N.H. — Kyle Busch saw little but billowing white smoke that engulfed the track and blinded enough drivers that it caused a tremendous wreck that notably altered the race running order.

    Kyle Busch celebrates with a burnout after his third victory of the season that earns a berth in the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs. He also has some fun with Loudon the Lobster.