Des Moines, Iowa – The Iowa Barnstormers kept their playoff hopes alive with their most complete effort in over a month as they defeated the Utah Blaze 68-32 before 9,542 fans at Wellmark Field in Des Moines on Saturday night. With the win, Iowa improves to 5-6, while Utah drops their seventh straight game to fall to 1-10. The Barnstormers are now in sole possession of third place in the AFL’s Midwest Division.
Iowa dominated the game from the beginning, scoring on every drive in the first half and taking a commanding 49- 26 lead into the locker room. In the second half, it was the Barnstormers defense that dominated, limiting the Blaze to just six points in the final thirty minutes.
Iowa Quarterback Ryan Vena had arguably his best game as a Barnstormer, completing 20 of 22 passes for 245 yards and 7 touchdowns. WR Larry Kendrick filled in nicely for the injured Tommy Ellingworth catching 7 passes for 93 yards and two scores. On defense LB Derrick Byrd led the way with 11 tackles to go along with his first interception of the season.
The Barnstormers now hit the road for two crucial games at Dallas (July 2) and Oklahoma City (July 10)..
Iowa returns home to face the Western Division leading Spokane Shock on Friday, July 16th
. The game will be nationally televised on the NFL Network and is sponsored by Casey’s General Stores. Barnstormer fans can pick up a voucher at their local Casey’s General Store good for buy 1 get one free tickets to the July 16th
game, while supplies last. To check out upcoming promotions or to order your tickets to any remaining home game, call the Barnstormers at 515.633.2255 or log on to www.theiowabarnstormers.com
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the game – Ryan Vena (Iowa)
JSL Ironman of the Game – Larry Kendrick (Iowa)
Riddell Defensive player of the game – Derrick Byrd (Iowa)
Cutters Catch of the Game – Jesse Schmidt (Iowa)
Nifty Playmaker of the Game – Larry Kendrick (Iowa)
Spalding Highlight of the Game – Ryan Vena 16 yard TD pass to Brian Villanueva.