Iowa Defeats Green Bay in Final Road Game
DES MOINES — Clutch fourth quarter plays from both sides of the ball helped push the Iowa Barnstormers (10-1) past the Green Bay Blizzard (6-5) on the road, 54-49, on Sunday, May 19 at the Resch Center.
Neither team forced a defensive stop in the first quarter. Green Bay opened with the ball and scored when quarterback Leonorris Footman rushed for a 13 yard touchdown. The PAT was missed, 6-0. The Barnstormers offense answered when quarterback Daquan Neal found receiver Connor Hollenbeck over the middle for the score, 7-6. The Blizzard re-took the lead when Footman threw a deep ball to receiver Keshaun Taylor, 13-7. Iowa took a 14-13 lead when running back Malik Brown reversed field and scored on a one yard touchdown run. Green Bay earned the final score of an action-packed first quarter when running back Levi Copelin threw a touchdown to receiver Rameses Owens on a halfback pass, 20-14.
In the second quarter, Neal plowed through a defender en route to the end zone to give Iowa the 21-20 lead. Green Bay would answer with back-to-back touchdowns, one with Footman’s arm and one with his legs, to lead 34-21. Iowa started to cut into the lead when Neal hit receiver Ryan Balentine for the score, 34-28. Before the half came to a close, Blizzard kicker Edward Rhunke nailed a field goal to extend Green Bay’s lead, 37-28.
Iowa opened with the ball in the third quarter and missed a field goal on the drive. Green Bay missed one too on the next possession. Neal found Hollenbeck again to cut the score to 37-35. Before the third quarter came to a close, Barnstormers defensive back James Gray stripped Footman and recovered the ball to give it back to the offense.
Iowa’s offense took advantage of the turnover when they scored early in the fourth quarter. Neal hit receiver Jazeric Peterson in stride and Iowa took the lead, 42-37. The Blizzard wouldn’t go down without a fight. Footman found Taylor again and re-took the lead, 43-42. Again, the Barnstormers offense drove down the field and scored on a short touchdown pass from Neal to Peterson. Iowa went for two but came up short, 48-43. With just under a minute left to play, Green Bay went ahead when Footman heaved a deep ball to the end zone that was bobbled and eventually caught by Taylor. The Blizzard went for two, but didn't get it, 49-48.
The Barnstormers needed just over 15 seconds to re-take the lead. Neal went deep to Peterson, who made a diving grab, to put Iowa up 54-49 with 29.9 seconds left. Iowa’s defense came up huge, holding Green Bay to a fourth down attempt. A ball from Footman fell to the turf, and Iowa secured the victory.
The Iowa Barnstormers return home to Wells Fargo Arena to take on the Bismarck Bucks on Friday, May 24 for the Barnstormers' Annual Military Night game. This is an evening dedicated to recognizing and honoring those who serve our country. With the help of many wonderful local sponsors, the Iowa Barnstormers are able to offer game tickets to Active Duty Military, Veterans, and their families at no cost. If you are interested in sponsoring this wonderful event, please contact the Iowa Barnstormers front office at 515-633-2255.
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