Des Moines — On a night that saw the 2018 Barnstormers honored for their United Bowl championship, the 2019 squad put on a show. The Iowa Barnstormers (2-0) delivered a beat down to the Green Bay Blizzard (1-2) in their home opener on March 9, winning 41-3.
The Barnstormers received the opening kickoff to start the contest. On the first drive, quarterback Daquan Neal found receiver Ryan Balentine for a six yard touchdown pass. A missed PAT resulted in a 6-0 lead. The Blizzard's only points of the game came on their first drive. Kicker Cody Barber put one through the uprights, 6-3. Again, the Barnstormers offense drove down the field, but Neal fumbled at the opposing seven yard line.
The Barnstormers defense held strong to start the second quarter. On the ensuing possession, Neal found receiver Connor Hollenbeck from two yards out on fourth down. Kicker Nathan Criswell added the extra point, 13-3. It looked like Green Bay found some rhythm on offense until defensive lineman Reggie McGee stripped a Blizzard runner and forced a turnover. Criswell hit a 25 yard field goal to extend Iowa's lead to 16-3. With seven seconds remaining in the second quarter, Barber attempted another field goal for Green Bay, but it missed wide right to close out the half.
No points were scored in the third quarter as both defenses held strong. Defensive linemen Travante Valentine, BJ Butler and Reggie McGee dictated the pace up front, making Blizzard quarterback Leonorris Footman feel rushed in the backfield. Each team missed a field goal kick before the quarter came to a close.
In the fourth quarter, Iowa's offense came to life as the defense remained relentless. Receiver Samuel Charles went up and over the barrier to grab a touchdown pass from Neal, 22-3. After a bobbled snap on a Blizzard field goal attempt, Neal threw his fourth touchdown pass, this time to running back Jamal Tyler, 28-3. Defensive back Tyrell Pearson recorded his first interception of the season and again, the offense capitalized. Tyler scored on a short touchdown run to put the Barnstormers up 35-3. Defensive back Jourdan Wickliffe recorded a pick-six the length of the field to finish out the game, 41-3.
The Barnstormers are back in action when they hit the road to take on the Nebraska Danger on Saturday, March 23. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:05 CST.