Des Moines, Iowa – The Iowa Barnstormers and Cleveland Gladiators engaged in a highly entertaining game in front of a Wells Fargo Arena crowd of 8,363 along with a nationwide crowd watching on NFL Network on Friday night. In the end, Iowa prevailed with a 70-62 victory. The win improves the Barnstormers record to 5-7 on the season, while Cleveland suffered their second straight loss to fall to a record of 6-5.
The Barnstormers offense was clicking on all cylinders Friday night, as they scored touchdowns on 10 of their 11 possessions. Iowa QB J.J. Raterink connected on 31 of 37 passes for 371 yards and a season high 9 touchdown passes. He added a tenth touchdown on a 1 yard run in the fourth quarter for good measure. WR Jesse Schmidt had another monster game, catching a franchise record 18 passes for 206 yards and 5 touchdowns. Cameron McGlenn led the Barnstormers defense with 15 tackles and his 5th interception of the season.
Both teams seemed to struggle early on as they felt each other out, resulting in a narrow 21-20 Iowa halftime advantage that is low for Arena Football standards. However, both teams cranked up the offense in the second half, combining for 13 touchdowns. Iowa never relinquished their halftime lead, and led by as much as 16 points, but the Gladiators, led by veteran QB John Dutton would not go away quietly. Dutton threw for 370 yards of his own on the night and cut the Barnstormers lead to just 8 points 3 times during the final quarter but could not get any closer. The game was Iowa’s first ever victory over the Gladiators, as they had lost two prior matchups, both of which took place in 2010.
The Barnstormers now hit the road for two crucial road games. First up is a Saturday night contest against the Arizona Rattlers on June 9th
. This is followed by a June 16th
contest in San Antonio against the Talons. Iowa returns home on Saturday, June 30th when the Pittsburgh Power come to town for the Barnstormers 4th
annual Military Night presented by allied. 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 Athletic Offensive Player of the game – J.J. Raterink (Iowa)
JLS Ironman of the Game – Marco Thomas (Iowa)
Riddell Defensive player of the game – Cameron McGlenn (Iowa)
Cutters Catch of the Game – Marco Thomas (Iowa)
Spalding Highlight of the Game – Marco Thomas TD catch while falling over end boards.