Game Preview: Iowa Barnstormers at Pittsburgh Power
DES MOINES – The Iowa Barnstormers (6-7) travel to take on the Pittsburgh Power (10-3) for their first matchup of the 2014 season. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. CDT at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The game will be available live on WHO 1040 AM with play-by-play Jim Brinson and online via ESPN3 and the WatchESPN application.
Last week, the Iowa Barnstormers played an exhilarating match versus the Tampa Bay Storm. Both teams went into kickoff sitting at .500, looking to advance a winning record. However, the feat was not easy for either team. Playing a top-notch game, the Iowa Barnstormers made large strides to keep on top of the Storm. Quarterback J.J. Raterink took the lead for the Barnstormers while breaking franchise single-game records and advancing to the top of several 2014 Arena Football League categories.
The back-and-forth rhythm gave the impression that the game would come down to the final moments as neither team seemed to be backing down. Trailing by eight, Raterink connected with receiver Marco Thomas. After a failed extra point attempt and 28 seconds of play left, the Barnstormers Darius Reynolds recovered an onside kick. With :1 left on the clock, Raterink and M. Thomas pulled through yet again. It was Reynolds that would take the snap for the two-point conversion attempt. Scrambling out of the pocket, he found M. Thomas to tie the game 56-56.
In overtime the Barnstormers took away the Storm’s scoring opportunity with an interception in the end zone by defensive back Mervin Brookins. The Barnstormers unable to finalize the scoreboard, the game continued to sudden death. Not taking their final shot at victory for granted, Storm quarterback Randy Hippeard ran one in for the win, 62-56.
The Pittsburgh Power have continued to improve over the course of the season and look to advance an eight week winning streak after hosting the Iowa Barnstormers. Last week, the Power snuck past the Philadelphia Soul for a 57-56 victory that would secure the team their first winning season in franchise history. The Philadelphia Soul led by two after a two-point conversion, leaving the clock with only :35 remaining. The Power made their way down the field and were given a final chance at victory on fourth down after a Soul offsides penalty. With a newly replenished set of downs, kicker Julian Rauch propelled the 23-yard field goal through the uprights for the game-winning score.
The Iowa Barnstormers and the Pittsburgh Power have not met since 2012. During the 2012 season, the two teams met twice, splitting victories. The second of the two games, the Barnstormers hosted the Power at Wells Fargo Arena for a close 49-56 loss.
The Iowa Barnstormers return home on Saturday, June 28 for Military Appreciation Night! Come join the Barnstormers in honoring our local troops and for a divisional matchup versus the Philadelphia Soul. Tickets are still available for this event. Purchase yours today by calling the Barnstormers at 515-633-2255, or log onto www.theiowabarnstormers.com.
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