Arena Football League: Morelli leads Power past VooDoo

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NEW ORLEANS -- Rookie quarterback Anthony Morelli provided a much-needed Power surge for Pittsburgh in a 56-49 comeback win against the New Orleans Voodoo Thursday night at New Orleans Arena.

In just his second Arena Football League start, Morelli completed 23 of 35 passes for 232 yards and a franchise-record six touchdowns. He also rushed seven times for 45 yards and one touchdown, helping the Power rally from a 14-0 deficit late in the first half.

Morelli, of Penn Hills High School and Penn State, outdueled VooDoo quarterback Danny Wimprine, who completed 25 of 40 passes for 279 yards and six touchdowns.

The VooDoo provided a big assist for the Power, losing three fumbles (two by Wimprine), two of which led to touchdowns.

The Power (3-3) gained an upper hand in the third quarter, scoring twice on touchdown tosses of 17 and 11 yards from Morelli to Lonnell Dewalt and Xavier Lee for a 28-21 advantage going into the final quarter.

Morelli extended the lead to 35-21 on a 1-yard sneak early in the fourth and the Power held on for an important road win, snapping a two-game losing streak.

After struggling mightily on offense for much of the first half, the Power tacked on 14 points in a 15-second span of the final minute to tie the score at halftime, 14-14.

Morelli twice connected with wide receiver Jason Willis on scoring tosses of 12 and 11 yards.

Power defensive back Josh Lay, a fourth-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2006, set up Willis' second touchdown with a forced fumble at the VooDoo 11 with 51 seconds remaining in the first half.

Power defensive lineman Abe Koroma pounced on the loose ball for his second fumble recovery of the half, and Morelli found Willis in the end zone on the next play.

Morelli and Wimprine posted nearly identical numbers in the first half. Morelli completed 14 of 18 passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Wimprine answered with 12 of 18 for 101 yards and two scores.

Each team accounted for 116 yards in the first 30 minutes.

The Power stays on the road next week, visiting the Georgia Force at 7:30 p.m. on April 30 before returning home May 7 to face the defending Arena Bowl champions, the Spokane Shock, at Consol Energy Center.

New Orleans dropped to 1-5, 0-4 at home. The game, which was originally scheduled for tonight and was moved to accommodate an NBA playoff game between the New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Lakers, attracted 6,937.


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