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Empire Strikes the Barnstormers

04/17/2016 8:00 AM -

Empire Strikes the Barnstormers
Barnstormers Lose 54-34 at Home

DES MOINES - The Iowa Barnstormers (3-4) were defeated at home by the Spokane Empire (5-1) 54-34 Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

After holding the Empire on a fourth and eight the Barnstormers were unable to put points on the board when kicker Josh Gable had his field goal attempt blocked early in the first quarter. The Empire quickly scored on a long pass from quarterback Charles Dowdell to receiver Charles Sims a missed PAT made it 6-0. Barnstormers receiver Lucas Hefty was a key piece of the Barnstormers first score breaking off a 27 yard rush and following it with a diving catch in the end zone to take the lead, 7-6. Consecutive penalties on the Barnstormers gave the Empire the field position they needed as Sims found his way into the end zone, 13-7.

The second quarter started with interceptions by both teams first Iowa’s quarterback Donovan Porterie was picked off in the back of end zone. After Spokane drove down the field Barnstormers defensive back Michael Johnson intercepted a pass headed to the end zone. After sitting out for a drive, Porterie re-entered the game and was dialed in completing three straight passes capping off the drive with a touchdown by receiver Lemans Casimier. The first half came to a close with the Barnstormers trailing, 19-14.

After ending the first half with a touchdown the Barnstormers received the opening second half kick. Spokane regained possession and subsequently scored after recovering a Barnstormers fumble. The Barnstormers were able to get back on the board as Hefty found the end zone for his second score of the game, 26-21. The Barnstormers stopped the Empire on the next possession after defensive back Manfred Johnson swatted a pass in the back of the end zone.

The Empire started the fourth quarter with possession and found the end zone through the air for the third time. The Barnstormers were able to cut the lead to six when Porterie found receiver Bryan Pray on an eight yard pass in the end zone, 34-28. Spokane struck back with a passing score of their own to stretch the lead back to 13, 41-28. The Barnstormers attempted a comeback as Porterie found the end zone on a quarterback sneak from one yard out, 41-34. Empire offensive specialist Trevor Kennedy took the following kickoff 43 yards for the score giving them a 48-34 lead. The Barnstormers’ following drive ended with a turnover and Spokane found the end zone in the final minute to close out the game, 54-34.

The Barnstormers (3-4) are on the road next week as they take on the Green Bay Blizzard. That game is set to kickoff on Sunday April 24 at 3:05 p.m. CDT.

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