06/01/2013 10:37 PM
Des Moines, Iowa – A beat up and battered Iowa Barnstormers squad gave it everything they had, only to fall 3 points short to the Tampa Bay Storm at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday Night. Tampa Bay scored the game winning touchdown as time expired, improving to 7-4 on the season with the 65-62 victory. Iowa lost their third straight and now stands at 4-7 on the season.
The game was a classic Arena Football Matchup. The teams matched each other score for score for most of the first 3 quarters of the game. The Barnstormers were led by J.J. Raterink who completed 25 of 34 passes for 264 yards and 7 touchdowns. Tampa QB Adrian McPherson was just as good, completing 26 of 39 passes for 286 yards and 6 touchdowns. In addition, McPherson also ran for three scores.
Leading 42-35 in the third quarter, the Barnstormers got their big break as DL Mike Lewis forced a fumble by McPherson which led to a one yard score by QB Brian Reader, giving them their biggest lead of the night at 14. However Tampa countered with a touchdown of their own, followed by an on-side kick and a second touchdown to tie the game at 49-49 with just over 10 minutes remaining. The two teams then matched scores again, keeping the game tied at 56-56.
The Barnstormers took possession of the ball with just over 2 minutes remaining, but Raterink was sacked on the second play of the drive, resulting in a safety which gave Tampa a 68-56 lead. Iowa’s defense came up strong, stopping Tampa on downs to giving the Barnstormers offense one more shot to secure a victory. Three plays later Raterink found the end zone from 1 yard out, to put Iowa in front 62-58. However Tampa was left with 25 seconds to see if McPherson could work his magic. The Tampa QB did exactly that, driving his team the length of the field. Facing a 4th and goal situation from the 3 yard line with .3 seconds remaining on the clock, McPherson connected with WR Joe Hills for the game winning score, sending the Iowa faithful home disappointed.
The Barnstormers now hit the road again next Friday night when they battle the Cleveland Gladiators. Iowa returns home on Saturday, June 15 when the San Jose Sabercats come to town. Kickoff is set for 7:05pm. Tickets are available for purchase at the Wells Fargo Arena box office, by calling the Barnstormers at 515.633.2255 online at www.theiowabarnstormers.com
Russell Athletics Offensive Player of the Game: QB Adrian McPherson
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Mike Lewis, Iowa
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: Joe Hills, Tampa
Cutters Catch of Game: Iowa’s Marco Thomas over the shoulder TD Catch
AFL Highlight of the Game: McPherson finds Hills for game-winning TD as time expires.