Power continue streak with 6th win in a row

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There were varying accounts of what exactly Power coach Ron James said at halftime Saturday against New Orleans.

The longtime Arena Football League coach didn't go into detail about it, just noted that he can't remember the last time he had a tirade like that. Linebacker James Bryant said he didn't know what was even said, explaining that when you're playing poorly, you shouldn't need the coach to reinforce the point.

Whatever was said, it had a clear effect.

"I think it worked out," defensive back Sergio Gilliam said with a smile.

After leading the struggling VooDoo by just a touchdown at halftime, the Power scored 39 consecutive points in the second half on its way to a 65-26 victory at Consol Energy Center.

The win was the sixth in a row for the Power (9-3), which matches its combined win total from the previous two seasons.

"We talked to each other and we knew that, at the end of the day, if we're going to be number one, let's play like we're number one," Bryant said. "And that's what we did in the second half."

Quarterback Tommy Grady finished the game with 230 passing yards and seven touchdowns, and wide receiver Tyrone Goard had his second consecutive game with five touchdowns.

The Power largely controlled play in the first half, but because of two crucial turnovers, the VooDoo (2-9) trailed just 26-19 heading into the locker room.

"We were doing just enough, but that's not the hallmark of a good football team," James said.

It was then that James delivered his message, one which his team responded to resoundingly.

Grady connected with Hank Edwards for a touchdown on the opening possession of the half, which was followed by a safety on New Orleans' ensuing drive. By the time the Power notched another safety on a nearly identical play later in the quarter, it had built a 44-19 lead.

"Maybe it's called déjà vu," Bryant said of the safeties. "Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on them. I don't know how that goes, but that's how it went tonight. If we would have gotten a third opportunity to do it, we probably would have gotten another one."

Gilliam was one of three Power players with an interception, his 11th in his time with the team, tying a franchise record. Linebacker Jake Killeen had 1.5 sacks to bring his season total to 6.5, another record.

But even with all of those individual accolades, the team believes there's still much more it can accomplish this season.

"I think it is," Killeen said when asked if this is a championship team. "I've been on a few championship teams and we've got a lot of good character. Granted, everybody's having fun when you're winning and that always helps, but we have a lot of leadership on this team and a lot of experience.

"I feel like as long as we get everybody healthy come playoff time, we've got a really good shot."

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

 


Sean Hammond: shammond@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1466 and Twitter @sean_hammond. First Published June 7, 2014 7:54 PM

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