Game Preview: Iowa Barnstormers vs. Jacksonville Sharks
DES MOINES – The Iowa Barnstormers (4-3) host the Jacksonville Sharks (2-5) in their first visit to Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, May 10, 2014. Kickoff is set for 7:05pm CDT at Wells Fargo Arena. The game will be available live on Mediacom Connections Channel 22, WHO 1040 AM, and online via ESPN3 and the WatchESPN application.
Last week, the Barnstormers clipped the San Antonio Talons 62-52 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. Their second matchup of the 2014 season started with a rapid-fire first quarter. Although the Talons were able to match the Barnstormers in scoreboard tallies in the first, Iowa began slowly pulling ahead thereafter. The Barnstormers led for the entirety of the game although the Talons attempted a repeated fourth quarter of their April 12th shootout. For the night, Carson Coffman completed 22-of-32 passes for 302 yards and six touchdowns. Marco Thomas grabbed nine passes for 145 yards and his three touchdowns while Darius Reynolds caught two touchdowns in the air and hauled one in on the ground. Also for the rushing game, fullback Derik Steiner accounted for one score. After recording five tackles, one forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception and a sack, defensive back Jason Simpson was named Riddell Defensive Player of the Week by the Arena Football League.
Although the Sharks opened their previous game with an 18-yard touchdown by London Crawford, the team was no match for the undefeated Arizona Rattlers. Going point-for-point for a majority of the shootout, Jacksonville held on until the fourth quarter of the game. After a deflected fourth-down pass which forced a turnover on downs against the Sharks, the game turned. The Rattlers lead quickly leapt from 56-55 to 70-55. In the final moments, the Sharks came out with a score, but Arizona then recovered Fabrizio Scaccia’s onside kick attempt to seal the game, 70-61.
The Iowa Barnstormers and the Jacksonville Sharks have met three times in the past three seasons. During their last matchup, the Barnstormers fell by a narrow margin of 34-40 at Sea Best Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Iowa’s notable plays from this game include a 43- yard touchdown by former WR Marcus Harris and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by former LB Darnell Carter, who now plays for the Sharks.
Iowa is currently 0-3 in all-time matchups against Jacksonville. To take the victory this weekend, the Barnstormers will need to keep an eye on a couple of Jacksonville’s key players. Offensively, R.J. Archer, Jared McGriff-Culver, and London Crawford are all ranked in terms of current Arena Football League leaders. Taking care of the ball on both sides of the line, capitalizing on turnovers, and keeping high intensity until the clock runs out continue to be important aspects for the Barnstormers organization.
Returning home on Saturday, May 10, the Iowa Barnstormers will celebrate the holiday weekend at Wells Fargo Arena. The first 1,000 women through the doors will receive an exclusive Mother’s Day t-shirt, sponsored by Capital City Tire. Individual game tickets for this event and any other regular season game may be purchased at the Wells Fargo Arena Box Office or by calling the Barnstormers at 515-633-2255. For all of the latest Barnstormers information log onto www.theiowabarnstormers.com.
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