04/02/2014 10:00 AM
Game Preview: Iowa Barnstormers at Cleveland Gladiators
Iowa Looks to Spoil Cleveland Home Opener
DES MOINES – The Iowa Barnstormers (1-1) take on the Cleveland Gladiators (2-0) at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH on Friday, April 4, 2014. Kickoff is set for 6:30pm CDT and the game will be available live on WHO 1040 AM, and online via ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
This is the first of three meetings this season for the East Division rivals. A Barnstormers victory would result in the Gladiators first loss of the season and a spoiled home opener. The last meeting between Iowa and Cleveland marked an Iowa victory, bringing their all-time series matchup against Cleveland to a tie, 2-2.
The Barnstormers look to advance to a two-win streak after their season’s first win at Portland, 40-36. In that game, Iowa started off strong with momentum decreasing through the completion of the third quarter. After a scoreless third quarter for the Barnstormers, WR Darius Reynolds stepped up his game, bringing in three touchdowns for the win. Reynolds hot streak accounted for 117 total receiving yards and three touchdowns that night.
Carson Coffman completed the game with 285 passing yards and six touchdowns. Performing at 61.5%, he completed 24 of 39 attempts and allowed 3 interceptions. The game brought out a side of Coffman that we didn’t see in Week 1 as the night’s statistics tallied him the team’s top rusher.
The Cleveland Gladiators look to finish Friday’s matchup 3-0. Last week the team traveled to New Orleans, where they were able to overtake the VooDoo, 37-26. QB Shane Austin replaced starting QB Chris Dieker in the second half, highlighting his efforts with three passing and two rushing touchdowns. On the receiving end, wide receivers Dominick Goodman and Thyron Lewis both made end zone appearances. Cleveland’s defense dominated the game, forcing six turnovers on New Orleans.
To keep Cleveland from an undefeated 3-0 record, the Barnstormers will have to keep tabs on a few potentially threatening players. DB Marrio Norman will likely pressure the Barnstormers offense, looking to keep his spot as a League leader of interceptions. Both Cleveland quarterbacks have the potential to keep Iowa’s defensive line on their toes with their rushing reputations. Taking care of the ball on both sides of the line and scoring in the red zone are still high priority for Iowa, especially considering the skilled Gladiators defense.
The home portion of the schedule begins Saturday, April 12 when the San Antonio Talons come to town. 2014 season tickets remain on sale for as low as $110 per seat, while individual game tickets can be purchased for any regular season game at the Wells Fargo Arena Box office or by calling the Barnstormers at 515-633-2255. For all of the latest Barnstormers information log onto www.theiowabarnstormers.com.