Iowa Barnstormers Lose Bacon in 2nd Annual Bacon Bowl
Sunday July 20, 2014
Des Moines, IA – The Iowa Barnstormers (6-11) hosted the 2nd Annual Bacon Bowl at Wells Fargo Arena in a matchup versus the Pittsburgh Power (14-3). In the final moments of the showdown, the Barnstormers were defeated by the Power 59-56.
Starting off the game, Pittsburgh hit the scoreboard first and took the early lead. With Carson Coffman starting at quarterback, the Barnstormers answered back when Coffman connected a 27-yard pass to Darius Reynolds. The Barnstormers defense held strong with an interception by defensive lineman Darnell Carter. Taking advantage of the turnover, the Barnstormers put up another touchdown, this time Coffman connecting with wide receiver Marco Thomas. The quarter winding down, Pittsburgh found the end zone with a 15-yard pass from quarterback Tommy Grady to receiver Prechae Rodriguez. Iowa Barnstormers 13, Pittsburgh Power 14.
The second quarter started off slow with both teams battling to put another touchdown on the board. It wasn’t until 6:00 left in the half that Pittsburgh’s Grady connected with receiver Hank Edwards, increasing the visiting team’s lead 21-13. After several unsuccessful attempts and collisions with the dashers, Reynolds grabbed one in the end zone to bring the Barnstormers back in to the hunt. However, both sides of the Pittsburgh team would leave the Barnstormers stumped. Another touchdown by Rodriguez and an interception ran back by defensive back Virgil Gray would help the Power regain a secure lead. Iowa Barnstormers 19, Pittsburgh Power 35.
Coming out of the locker room, the Barnstormers struck first with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Coffman to Reynolds. Keeping up the pace, Pittsburgh’s Edwards snagged a high ball for the touchdown. After making their way down the field, the Barnstormers offense quickly found themselves in scoring position. Faking out his defender, Reynolds tallied his fourth touchdown. With the Power in control of the ball, Barnstormers defensive back Mervin Brookins picked-off a Pittsburgh pass. While running down the field and inches away from the end zone, the football fell loose. On the turnover of possession, the Black Storm defense stepped up again, stopping the Pittsburgh offense and regaining control of the ball. With momentum running high, Reynolds tallied yet another touchdown score. Iowa Barnstormers 40, Pittsburgh Power 42.
Seconds into the fourth quarter, Reynolds struck again to bring a narrow 47-42 lead for the Barnstormers. Attempting to hold on, Barnstormers defense lost control when Grady found Edwards in the end zone, 49-47 Pittsburgh. Making another huge play, Reynolds brought the Barnstormers into scoring position. In need of a field goal, K Ross Gornall stepped onto the field for a 22-yard attempt. Clearing the goal post, the Barnstormers jumped back ahead. Struggling in the backfield, Grady hauled a 25-yard pass to Edwards for a Pittsburgh touchdown, 56-50. Remaining untouchable, Reynolds grabbed another 5-yard pass from Coffman. After a blocked extra point, the scored remained tied, 56-56. The Power would have one last shot at the victory. With just enough time left on the clock, K Julian Rauch completed a 22-yard field goal attempt. Iowa Barnstormers 56, Pittsburgh Power 59.
Wrapping up the night, Carson Coffman completed the game with 296 passing yards for eight touchdowns. At the receiving end of seven of those touchdown passes was Darius “Money” Reynolds, a statistic that would tie him for the team’s franchise record in single-game touchdowns.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Iowa Darius Reynolds
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Iowa Ter’Ran Benton
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: Pittsburgh Virgil Gray
Cutter’s Catch of the Game: Darius Reynolds deep end zone TD grab (2:04 4th Quarter)
AFL Highlight of the Game: Virgil Gray Interception for TD (2nd Quarter)