Week 16 - Screaming Eagles implode, fall to Barnstormers Jun 4, 2017 14:14:43 GMT -8
Post by DiamondThief on Jun 4, 2017 14:14:43 GMT -8
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT - Defensive back Jamie Bender intercepted four passes and recovered a fumble to lead the Iowa Barnstormers to a 58-36 win over the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles in week 16.
Bender's performance, which is likely to earn him Defensive Player of the Week honors, affected the Screaming Eagles all game. He returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown.
The Screaming Eagles scored on their first possession of the game when Verlon Reed found Devin Mahina for a 33-yard touchdown strike. The Barnstormers came back with a six-yard pass from Travis Partridge to Ryan Balentine. Keshaudas Spence's three-yard fumble return put Iowa up 14-7 before the Screaming Eagles added a safety when Jerome McElroy sacked Partridge in the end zone.
Salt Lake retook the lead when James Calhoun intercepted Partridge and returned it 23 yards for the score. It was Calhoun's fourth interception returned for a touchdown in the past two games. He leads the IFL with eight interceptions on the season and six of those returned for a touchdown.
The lead was short-lived as the Barnstormers scored 13 seconds later on Spence's 20-yard run. Iowa went up 27-15 midway through the second quarter on a 12-yard run from Partridge. The Screaming Eagles cut into that with a six-yard pass from Reed to Mahina. The Screaming Eagles attempted an onside kick , but Scott Thomsen's kick went right to the Barnstormers' Javicz Jones, who returned it to the end zone. The Barnstormers held a 34-21 halftime lead at halftime.
Iowa kept the pressure on in the third quarter. They extended their lead to 41-21 on a 21-yard pass from Partridge to Balentine. The Screaming Eagles came back with a 34-yard pass from Reed to Chris Robinson. The Barnstormers scored Spence's six-yard run, before Bender intercepted Reed for the pick-six.
The Screaming Eagles added its second safety in the fourth quarter when Quinton Bradley sacked Partridge in the end zone. Reed's 36-yard strike to Mahina drew to within 19 points with 7:47 left. The Barnstormers added a field goal with just over four minutes to go.
The Barnstormers relied on their defense, as they had only 99 yards of total offense. The Screaming Eagles amassed 268, with 232 yards coming in the passing game. Salt Lake was penalized eight times for 71 yards, while Iowa was penalized six times for 44 yards.
Partridge had a light workload, completing four of eight passes for 40 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also ran eight times for 27 yards and a score. Spence had seven carries for 57 yards and two touchdowns. Balentine finished with three receptions for 35 yards and two scores. Balentine amassed 124 yards on his four interceptions. Jones had an outstanding game on defense for the Barnstormers, finishing with 13 total tackles. Matt Goldsmith had an interception, and Bryon Bennett recorded two sacks.
Reed, who entered the week near the top of several passing and rushing statistical categories, had a miserable outing for the Screaming Eagles. He completed 22 of 38 passes for 245 yards and four touchdowns. He also tossed a season-high five interceptions. Reed rushed 11 times for 30 yards. Despite his team's struggles, Mahina had a strong game, catching six passes for 114 yards and three touchdowns. Robinson caught eight passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. Calhoun led the team with six total tackles to go along with his pick-six. McElroy had a fumble recovery and a sack, and Bradley and Seante Williams each recorded a sack.
The Barnstormers (12-2) will host the Spokane Empire (8-6) on June 9 at 5:05 p.m. The Screaming Eagles (4-10) will visit the Green Bay Blizzard (2-13) on June 10 with a 5:05 p.m. kickoff. All times are pacific time.
Both of those games, as well as the majority of the league's games this season are available for streaming on the IFL's Youtube channel.
(Graphic courtesy SCtoC)
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