SAN JOSE, CA - The Iowa Barnstormers recorded arguably their most impressive victory since the team's return to the AFL with a 76-69 victory over the San Jose SaberCats at the HP Pavilion on Friday night. The victory is Iowa's second straight, and improves the Barnstormers to 2-1 on the young 2011 season. Meanwhile, San Jose dropped their second decision in six days, falling to 2-1 on the year.
Iowa played a near flawless game on offense, scoring touchdowns on 11 of their 12 possessions. The Barnstormers were led by Quarterback Brad Banks, who once again shined. Banks finished the night completing 24 of 37 passes for 383 yards and a franchise record 10 touchdown passes. The record comes in just Banks' third AFL start. In addition, he added a 7 yard rushing touchdown in the games closing minutes to seal the victory for Iowa.
The game was played in typical Arena Football style as the team's matched each other score for score all night long. The teams entered the lockerroom all-even at 34-34 and remained tied 48-48 as the final quarter began. The Barnstormer triple threat of playmakers, Jesse Schmidt, Todd Blythe and Errick McCown accounted for all of the team's receiving yards. Schmidt paved the way with 12 receptions for 178 yards and 5 scores,while Blythe found the endzone 4 times and McCown shined with several key receptions that kept the chains moving.
Leading 69-62 at the midpoint of the fourth quarter, Iowa finally got the stop they needed as DB Chris Felder intercepted SaberCats QB Mark Greib. Even though the Barnstormers were unable to score on the next possession, they once again stopped the SaberCats offense, this time on downs. Three plays later, Banks scrambled and ran uncontested into the endzone, sealing the victory for Iowa.
Up next for the Barnstormers is another road contest, next Saturday April 9 in Kansas City when they battle their new division rivals the Kansas City Command. Kick-off is set for 7:00pm. Iowa returns home to Wellmark Field on Saturday April 16, to face the Chicago Rush at 7:05pm. Tickets are on sale now at the Wells Fargo Arena Box Office, online at www.theiowabarnstormers.com
or by calling 515.633.2255. Group and partial season rates are also available, we'll see you there!