Game Preview: Iowa Barnstormers vs. Tampa Bay Storm
DES MOINES – The Iowa Barnstormers (6-6) are set to take on the Tampa Bay Storm (6-6) this Saturday, June 14, 2014. Kickoff is set for 7:05 p.m. CDT at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. 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 Iowa Barnstormers fell 86-49 to the Cleveland Gladiators in the final meeting between these two teams for the 2014 season. Doomed by turnovers, the Iowa Barnstormers struggled to keep up with their East Division rival Cleveland Gladiators. With the Gladiators taking advantage of each turnover, the Barnstormers were held to three touchdowns for the first half. A huge 48-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brian Reader to receiver Darius Reynolds got the Barnstormers started. Coming off the bench late in the second, quarterback J.J. Raterink connected with both Reynolds and Marco Thomas for the team’s final scores of the half. Gladiators 51, Barnstormers 21. The Barnstormers scored first in the second half, but the Cleveland’s offense could not be stopped. In the fourth, the Barnstormer defense held the Gladiators to their lowest scoring frame. Cleveland connected twice with the end zone. Soon later, Iowa had their own pair of touchdowns on the board. However, this was not enough for a fourth quarter rally. The Barnstormers were stumped 86-49.
The Tampa Bay Storm stole a nail biting victory from the Philadelphia Soul last weekend. Within the final moments, the Storm came out with a victory, 56-49. Both the Soul and Storm held strong for much of the matchup with the Soul taking the lead for a majority of the game. Capitalizing on every opportunity, it seemed that the Philadelphia Soul had the victory sealed up. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when Tampa took control of the game. After putting up 22 points and holding the contender to a scoreless fourth quarter, the Storm came out with the victory, 56-49.
This Saturday will be the first time the Iowa Barnstormers face the Tampa Bay Storm this season. The last time these two teams met, the Storm came out with the victory, 65-62. The first three quarters of the game were consistently back-and-forth with both teams very well matched. QB J.J Raterink completed 25-of-34 passes for 264 yards and 7 touchdowns. Tampa Bay QB Adrian McPherson was just as good, completing 26-of-39 passes for 286 yards and 6 touchdowns. Leading into the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 56-56. With 2 minutes remaining, Raterink was sacked on the second play of the drive, resulting in a safety which gave the lead to the Storm, 58-56. Iowa’s defense proved strong, stopping the Storm offense and giving Iowa one last shot at the victory. Iowa found the end zone, giving them the lead 62-58. However, the Storm offense show their magic. McPherson connected with WR Joe Hills for the game winning score, with .3 seconds remaining. Tampa Bay 65, Iowa 62.
To get back on track, the Barnstormers will need to focus on special teams as Tampa Bay’s Michael Lindsey holds the League’s #1 spot for 2014 kick returns. Playing a continually consistent game, the Barnstormers defense will need to high pressure on Storm quarterback Randy Hippeard. Playing a clean game will keep Iowa from affording any extra opportunities for the Tampa offense. After Saturday’s matchup, the Barnstormers will get ready for a divisional matchup on the road versus the Pittsburgh Power on Friday, June 20.
Join the Iowa Barnstormers for Iowa National Guard Night this Saturday, June 14 at Wells Fargo Arena. The first 2,000 fans will receive a Barnstormers camouflage hat, brought to you by Scrap Processors Incorporated. Giveaway offered to all fans while supplies last. For tickets to this event or any other regular season game, contact the Barnstormers at 515-633-2555 or log onto www.theiowabarnstormers.com.
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