Power defeats VooDoo, 56-14

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As far as starts go, it couldn't have been much worse for the Power.

A week removed from the most lopsided victory in franchise history, quarterback Tommy Grady threw an interception on his first pass of the game and about a minute later, the New Orleans VooDoo capitalized on that mistake with a touchdown.

From there, though, little else went wrong.

The Power defeated the VooDoo, 56-14, Friday night at Consol Energy Center, its third victory in its first four games.

"We should have scored a few more touchdowns and we left a few out there on the scoreboard," Power coach Ron James said.

"But overall, when you hold a team to seven points in the first half and a shutout all the way down to the one-minute mark, you're doing a great job.

In a league often dominated by offense, the Power's defense was the most overpowering unit for much of the game -- with staggering numbers to prove it.

After holding the San Antonio Talons to 17 points last week, the 31 points allowed in the past two games is the Power's fewest in a two-game span.The 14 points given up were the fewest in franchise history in a game that wasn't a forfeit.

Defensive back Virgil Gray led the way, intercepting three passes, which is a team single-game record.

In four games, he has six interceptions, putting him only three shy of the most in a season in franchise history.

"I was just in the right spot at the right moment," Gray said. "The defensive backs coach, Brandon Taylor, and myself collaborate on the game plan, so anything I'm comfortable with, we run a lot.

"I was very comfortable out there and the ball just kept finding me."

After the VooDoo's touchdown in the opening two minutes, the Power (3-1) held New Orleans (1-3) scoreless for the next 57:25, a period of time which saw it go from a seven-point lead to a 42-point deficit.

The score was tied, 7-7, at the end of the first quarter, but the Power scored 28 points in the second to take a 35-7 halftime lead.

Two of those four touchdowns came on receptions from Aaron Lesue, who finished with a game-high 10 catches for 115 yards and three touchdowns.

With the victory, the Power moved to 3-0 under James, who was brought in after one game to replace Derek Stingley.

While the quality of opponents has something to do with the winning streak -- the victories came against teams that are a combined 3-9 -- some players believe in the change and the direction in which they are now headed.

"Night and day, absolutely," Lesue said about the difference in the team under James.

"From week one when coach James came in, we were a little more prepared on the special teams, offense and defense. Once we saw what we were capable of, the whole mentality of the team switched when we said, 'Hey, we're pretty good and we have the ability to be great.' "

Craig Meyer: cmeyer@post-gazette.com and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG.

First Published April 11, 2014 10:50 PM

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