Pittsburgh, PA —
In what can only be described as a total team effort, the Iowa Barnstormers visited the Pittsburgh Power to win 55-42 Friday night at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA. While Pittsburgh fell to 1-3, Iowa improved to 2-2 for the season. It was the Power’s third consecutive loss and Iowa’s second home win during ‘Military Appreciation Night’.
The first half of the Arena Football League game was a battle in the trenches with both teams fighting for position and scores. Iowa was able to take a 7-0 lead with a Rodney Filer touchdown. Filer would also score later in the half. Pittsburgh’s response was an aerial assault to WR P.J. Berry, who scored on a 30-yard pass from QB Andrico Hines to tie the game 7-7 and the end of the first quarter. Iowa QB J.J. Raterink was held scoreless in the first half. Barnstormers LB John Mohring recovered a Craig Camay kickoff in the end zone to put Iowa up 20-14. Pittsburgh bounced back when Berry returned the ensuing kickoff for a 57-yard touchdown. The score at the halftime break was 28-27 Pittsburgh.
Iowa’s defense came on strong in the second half, aided greatly by ‘Defensive Player of the Game’ Jason Simpson. Simpson recorded two interceptions to set Iowa’s offense up with good field advantage. Raterink took advantage of the turnovers and found Chris Matthews open twice for scores. Filer rushed the ball eleven times for a total of 28 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Marco Thomas led the Barnstormers in receiving with 8 receptions for 95 yards. Matthews had 7 receptions for 114 total yards and two touchdowns.
Pittsburgh’s Hines went 27 of 44 passing for 299 yards and five touchdowns. Hines threw a total of four interceptions which caused the Power to stall in the second half. Berry was the offensive weapon of choice for the Power with nine receptions for 110 yards total and two touchdowns.
Iowa’s biggest gamble of the evening was in the final quarter. The Barnstormers faced a fourth down situation a few yards short of the middle of the field. Raterink was able to connect with Matthews to put Iowa up 48-35. Iowa finished off Pittsburgh with Filer’s third touchdown of the night with a mere two minutes left in the game.
The Barnstormers will return to Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday (April 14) to face off against the Arizona Rattlers. Kickoff is at 7:05 p.m.
Examiner Player of the Game: Jason Simpson
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