Tampa Bay extends VooDoo losing skid

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans VooDoo will have to wait another week to try to end its losing streak.

On Saturday night, the VooDoo allowed the Tampa Bay Storm to score on all but one possession in a 63-32 Arena Football League loss at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Meanwhile, new VooDoo starting quarterback Bill Stull faced his own struggles.

Stull threw two interceptions and was sacked four times as the VooDoo lost for the fifth consecutive game. Tampa Bay improved to 5-2.

“We kind of fell behind early and could never really get on track after that,” said VooDoo receiver Quorey Payne, who caught 10 passes for 102 yards. Payne also compiled 138 yards on eight kickoff returns.

“Whenever we stared to get something going, we ended up having a turnover. For some reason this year, it’s been difficult on the offensive side of the ball. We’ve just got to get a lot of things figured out.”

After six games, the VooDoo (1-5) rank 13th out of 14 AFL teams in scoring offense (38 points per game). The Arizona Rattlers lead the league with 69.7 points a game.

While Tampa Bay quarterback Adrian McPherson threw four touchdown passes and ran for another four scores, the VooDoo scored twice on their first seven possessions. Stull’s 9-yard TD pass to Courtney Smith with 5:17 left in the first quarter was followed by two stalled drives on fourth down and an interception Tampa Bay’s Vance Cuff returned for a 30-yard score.

Stull scored on a 1-yard run as time expired in the second quarter, but he started the third quarter with the same problems. On the second VooDoo offensive play of the quarter, De’Audra Dix intercepted Stull, leading to McPherson’s fifth score of the game.

After being outscored 35-13 in the first half, the VooDoo failed to score in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay added another two scores in the quarter.

Stull finished with 265 yards on 27-of-47 passing. He also scored on two 1-yard runs.

Payne, now in his second season with the VooDoo, earned J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game honors, one of the VooDoo’s few offensive positives.

“Whenever I touch the ball, if we’re losing or we’re winning, I’m trying to score on every play,” he said. “You never know when you’re going to touch the ball again. I’m not just going to touch the ball and go down. I’m looking to score.”

That’s just what the VooDoo needs more of.

The VooDoo’s next chance to stop the losing streak is Saturday at the Iowa Barnstormers (3-4).