Barnstormers Win Nail Biter in Cleveland
Saturday June 8, 2013
Iowa Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive With 37-33 Victory
Cleveland, OH – The Iowa Barnstormers headed to Cleveland with only one goal in mind, returning home with a victory in hand. Friday night they accomplished their goal with a gutsy 37-33 win over the Cleveland Gladiators. The Barnstormers improve their record to 5-7 on the season, while Cleveland falls to 2-9.
Cleveland featured a familiar face to Iowa fans as former Barnstormers QB Chris Dieker was under center for the Gladiators. Early on, he did not disappoint the home crowd, connecting with WR Jamar Howard to give Cleveland a 7-0 lead. Following a Jason Simpson interception, the Barnstormers responded as QB J.J. Raterink connected with WR Darius Reynolds to tie the game at 7-7. After falling behind 13-7, Raterink connected with Reynolds again, giving Iowa a narrow 14-13 lead at halftime.
The Gladiators got the ball first to begin the second half and drove the length of the field, regaining the lead when Dieker connected with WR Dominick Goodman. The touchdown put Cleveland up 19-14, however Iowa blocked the extra point attempt and returned it for two points to make the score 19-16 at the end of 3 quarters of play.
The fourth quarter was wild from start to finish. The Gladiators opened up a 10 point lead following a rare Raterink interception. However, Iowa stayed strong, cutting the lead to 26-23 when Raterink connected with WR Marco Thomas for a touchdown. On the ensuing drive Iowa DB De’Mon Glanton produced the play of the game and maybe the season as he intercepted Dieker on a deep throw to the end zone and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown. With the Barnstormers now leading 30-26, Dieker led another drive and gave his team a 33-30 lead when he scored on a 4 yard run with :46 seconds remaining.
With their backs against the wall and possibly the season on the line, the Barnstormers executed a near-perfect game-winning scoring drive that finished when Raterink found Reynolds for his third TD of the night with just :13 seconds remaining, sealing the 37-30 victory for the Barnstormers.
The Barnstormers return home to Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines next Saturday, June 15 when the San Jose Saber Cats come to town. Kickoff is set for 7:05pm. Join us for our 5th annual salute to the military, sponsored by Allied insurance. The Barnstormers will be wearing special camouflage jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game. The first 5,000 fans will receive a coupon for a Free McWrap courtesy McDonald’s. Great seats are still available for as low as $12.00 per seat. To order your tickets, head to the arena box office, call the Barnstormers at (515) 633-2255, or you log onto www.theiowabarnstormers.com.