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Barnstormers Sneak Past Sugar Skulls

04/27/2019 10:20 PM -

Barnstormers Sneak Past Sugar Skulls

DES MOINES - Down by 17 points in the third quarter, the Iowa Barnstormers (7-1) needed a comeback and a wild fourth quarter to beat the Tucson Sugar Skulls (3-5) on the road, 61-58, on Saturday, April 27 at the Tucson Arena.

The Sugar Skulls struck first, scoring when quarterback Jake Medlock ran it in from a yard out, 7-0. Kicker Dalton Hall would answer back for the Barnstormers when he hit a 32 yard field goal, 7-3. Tucson extended their lead to 14-3 when Medlock found receiver Shaquan Curenton.

In the second quarter, Barnstormers quarterbacks Daquan Neal hit receiver Connor Hollenbeck for a score to cut Tucson’s lead to 14-10. On the ensuing possession, the Sugar Skulls weren’t able to get out of the end zone, and the Barnstormers were awarded a point, 14-11. The mishap didn’t seem to phase the Tucson offense, as they marched down the field and scored when running back Mike Jones ran it in from two yards out, 21-11. Again, Iowa answered back. This time Neal went deep to receiver Jazeric Peterson who slammed into the wall for a Barnstormers touchdown. After a missed extra point, the score was 21-17. The two teams traded field goals before the half came to a close. Tucson led 31-20 at half.

The third quarter opened up with a Tucson touchdown. Medlock scored on a one yard touchdown run and the Sugar Skulls held their largest lead of the night at 37-20. The Barnstormers offense needed a score and they got one when Neal hit Peterson on a long ball. The Sugar Skulls held a 37-27 advantage going into the fourth quarter.

Both offenses exploded in the fourth quarter. After a missed field goal by the Sugar Skulls, Neal cut Tucson’s lead to three points when he scampered in for a touchdown, 37-34. Medlock extended his squad’s lead on the ensuing possession, finding Curenton who broke tackles for the score, 44-34. The Barnstormers would, again, cut the lead to three. Neal found Hollenbeck in the end zone, 44-41. The Sugar Skulls offense didn’t take long to answer. Jones scored on a 28 yard touchdown run, 51-41. Down by 10 with only six minutes remaining, the Barnstormers needed some magic. Receiver Ryan Balentine provided that magic with a 27 yard touchdown catch, 51-47. The Barnstormers defense held strong and forced a field goal attempt. Iowa took it’s first lead when defensive lineman B.J. Butler blocked the field goal and linebacker Treyvon Williams scooped and scored. This put Iowa up 54-51. On the first play of the Sugar Skulls next possession, Curenton caught a 28 yard touchdown pass to re-take the lead with 54 seconds remaining, 58-54. With time winding down, Neal rolled to his left and jumped in the end zone for a five yard touchdown run to win the game, 61-58.

The Iowa Barnstormers return home to Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday, May 4 to take on the Cedar Rapids River Kings. Kickoff is at 7:05pm. It’s Star Wars Night! The first 500 kids at the game will receive a free light saber. The game will also feature the 3rd Annual Halftime Corgi Chase in partnership with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. Tickets to the game are available now, contact the Barnstormers front office at 515-633-2255.

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