Des Moines, Iowa – When the month of April began, the Iowa Barnstormers were flying high off of impressive back to back victories over the Spokane Shock and the San Jose SaberCats. However, the month finished with a much different feeling on Saturday night, as Iowa dropped their fourth straight AFL contest to the Philadelphia Soul 76-62 before 8,103 fans at Wellmark Field. The Barnstormers now stand 2-5 on the season, while Philadelphia improves to an identical 2-5 record.
The Barnstormers opened the game by jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead. However, as often is the case in Arena Football, turnovers play a key role. This held true again Saturday night as the Soul capitalized on 2 costly first-half fumbles to take a 41-27 lead into the locker room.
Iowa Quarterback Brad Banks was impressive on paper, throwing for 397 yards and 9 touchdown passes, but he also threw two costly interceptions which both were returned for scores. These proved to be the difference in the game. Soul Quarterback Ryan Vena saved his best game this season for his former Barnstormers teammates, throwing for 317 yards and 8 touchdown passes. WR Keith Stokes led the Soul with 11 catches for 159 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The Barnstormers are back on the road for the next two weeks, starting next Saturday, May 7 when they take on the Dallas Vigilantes. Iowa returns home Friday, May 27 when they take on the Utah Blaze at 7:05pm. The game will be broadcast live nationally on the NFL Network. Great seats are available for purchase at the Wells Fargo Arena box office, by calling the Barnstormers at 515.633.2255 online at www.theiowabarnstormers.com
National Guard MVP – Ryan Vena (PHL)
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the game – Brad Banks (Iowa)
JSL Ironman of the Game – Errick McCown (Iowa)
Riddell Defensive player of the game – Tanner Varner (PHL)
Cutters Catch of the Game – Errick McCown (Iowa)
Nifty Playmaker of the Game – Keith Stokes (PHL)
Spalding Highlight of the Game – Tanner Varner Interception return for TD (PHL)