Barnstormers Slow Down Titans 59-45

Photo Credit: Cliff Jette/The Gazette
Photo Credit: Cliff Jette/The Gazette

Story by Douglas Miles/ The Gazette

Photo Credit: CLiff Jette/The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS — After an early-morning practice last week, Cedar Rapids Titans Coach Marvin Jones called on his defense to eliminate one-play scoring drives.

With scoring marches both long and short, the visiting Iowa Barnstormers proved to be too dynamic, too versatile and much more explosive on offense for the Cedar Rapids defense to corral.

The Barnstormers scored points on their first nine possessions, including eight touchdowns, and overpowered the Titans, 59-45, in an Indoor Football League game Saturday night at the U.S. Cellular Center.

"They mix it up pretty well, especially at the wide receiver position," Jones said. "We just didn't match up with them man to man. … We had to kind of play vanilla. In this league, when you've got to stick with one thing the whole game and try not to give up those one-play drives like we did a couple of times in the beginning, you can't play football like that."

Cedar Rapids got the scoring started on its first possession with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jake Medlock. A 4-yard TD run by tailback Tyler Thomas gave the Titans their last lead at 16-14 with 1:26 left in the first quarter.

From that point, the Barnstormers' onslaught was directed by dual-threat quarterback Drew Powell, who completed 13 of 14 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns. Powell also ran for 58 yards and a score.

Iowa tailback Donavan Williams added 93 rushing yards and three TDs, while former Grand View University receiver Brady Roland posted eight receptions for 102 yards and two TDs.

"I'm pleased, I think they're doing a great job," said Iowa Coach Dixie Wooten, who was the Cedar Rapids offensive coordinator in 2016. "I think we've got a little more work to do to try and win a championship, but right now I think they are above standards from what I like."

Cedar Rapids quarterback Jake Medlock threw two TD passes to receiver Connor Hollenbeck and also ran for two scores. Tailback Tyler Thomas also had two rushing scores for Cedar Rapids (1-4), losers of three games in a row.

The Titans are on the road for the next four games, beginning next Saturday at defending IFL champion Arizona. Cedar Rapids does not return to the U.S. Cellular Center until May 5.