It has been a stormy season in Iowa and for the Iowa Barnstormers. As the weather has increasingly flooded the state, the Barnstormers have been beset by a flood of injuries and a rotation of players. On Saturday, June 1, the Barnstormers will be looking to overcome those issues and snap a two-game losing streak when they host the Tampa Bay Storm at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Last week, the Barnstormers moved Jack Breckner off of the reserve list and called in Alex Linnenkohl to play offensive line due to injuries to Michael Garrity and Jayson Palmgren. The results weren’t effective against the Arizona Rattlers with quarterback J.J. Raterink’s injury and backup Brian Reader getting sacked three times. Reader told the Des Moines Register that the change in offensive lineman “was kind of throwing us into a twist”, but complemented them. “They did a nice job against one of the best defenses in the league,” said Reader. “The new things hurt sometimes, but you work through it.” On Thursday, the Barnstormers picked up offensive lineman James Economou, dropping Linnenkohl. A trade was completed with the Rattlers for Anthony Parker (future considerations).
Reader took the starting quarterback position during practice on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Raterink spent the week rehabbing. In a personal conversation, Raterink said, “I should be good to go [on Saturday].”
Iowa remains only one game behind Chicago for the Central Division lead with a record of 4-6. Tampa Bay’s win-loss record is 6-4. Both teams are coming off of losses. Tampa Bay battled with the Philadelphia Soul and lost by a score of 55-73. Storm quarterback Adrian McPherson leads the AFL with rushing touchdowns. He will have to work against a stingy Barnstormers defensive line who has only allowed 19.6 yards of rushing per game (fifth in the AFL). The Storm averages seven yards per play from scrimmage, earning them the title of second-best in the AFL. The Barnstormers defense is ranked second in the league as they have lifted the offense to a near-.500 season. De’Mon Glanton (defensive back) ranks in the top ten in the league in tackles per game. Iowa’s top receiver is Marcus Harris, who has 58 receptions for 851 yards and 17 touchdowns for the season.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. (central time).
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