Stout Defense Helps Danger Clip Barnstormers

Stout Defense Helps Danger Clip Barnstormers

By Ross Struss, Staff Writer

The Iowa Barnstormers and the Nebraska Danger both came into their 5th game of the season with a 3-1 record and looking to gain some momentum in the IFL standings. The surging Danger defense led the team to a victory for Nebraska, 43-32.

Iowa came out strong in the first quarter as Barnstormers quarterback, Drew Powell, split the Danger defenders and ran for a 19-yard gain. Iowa took a 7-point lead a few plays later. Nebraska wouldn’t waste any time though, as the ensuing kick was returned 48 yards by Korey Ringer to tie the game at seven points apiece. The Danger defense then made several big plays deep on Iowa’s end of the field, forcing a long field goal that Iowa missed. The Danger, along with the help of some Iowa penalties, marched down the field but only come away with three points on a 19-yard field goal from kicker, Brad Hatfield. The low scoring quarter ended with Nebraska having a slim lead, 9-7.

The Danger defense came out swinging again to start the second quarter, when linebacker Myke Tavarres stripped the ball from Powell and recovered it for Nebraska. After only gaining 8 yards in the first quarter, the Nebraska offense came out hoping to find some rhythm. However, Iowa again forced the Danger into a field goal situation. Brad Hatfield obliged by pushing through a 38-yard field goal, extending the Nebraska lead to five. Iowa then had a drive stall deep in Danger territory before a Nebraska stop on 4th down, but scored on their next possession. The Danger responded almost immediately as Scroggins found receiver Eric Thomas for a 37-yard touchdown. Nebraska’s Kenzel Doe got a huge block, allowing Thomas to get through to the endzone. Nebraska headed to the locker room with a six-point lead, 20-14.

“We really couldn’t find any offensive rhythm in the first half, but Jesse [Scroggins] found the short pass for that touchdown at the end of the half. Kenzel [Doe] also gets some credit for laying down a huge block, otherwise we may not have gotten that one,” said Head Coach Mark Stoute.

Nebraska started with the ball in the second half and drove to the two-yard line before the Barnstormers stuffed back-to-back attempts to get a touchdown. Hatfield got his third field goal of the night, making the score 23-14. After the Danger defense got a turnover on downs, the offense strung a few plays together and Scroggin found Thomas for a 20-yard touchdown pass. This was the second time those two connected on the night, giving the Danger a 30-14 lead. Two quick scores, one for each team, rounded out the quarter, as the Danger led 36-20 heading to the fourth quarter.

Iowa scored in the first two minutes of fourth quarter, but missed the two-point conversion to leave the Danger with a 10-point lead. Scroggins came right back out and found Doe for a 41-yard touchdown pass with 9:49 left in the game. Scroggins finished the game with 154 passing yards and 4 touchdown passes. The Barnstormers did not go away and a Danger roughing penalty helped them get a first down late in the fourth quarter. This continued a six minute Iowa drive, as the clock rolled under four minutes left in the game, with the Danger leading 43-26. Iowa would score once more, but Nebraska would come away with their fourth win of the season, 43-32.

“We pulled it together in the second half. The defense continued to play on point and Jesse found his groove and kept finding ways to move the ball and extend our lead. There are always things to clean up, but this was a good response after our first loss last week,” Stoute said.

The Danger play at home again next Saturday against the Sioux Falls Storm.

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