It looked like the familiar story for the Pittsburgh Power (4-11) on Saturday night in Des Moines. They hung with the Iowa Barnstormers (5-10) for the majority of the game but appeared like they were going to come up just short. Despite the anticipated sense of disappointment, the Power rallied to defeat Iowa 56-49.
The Barnstormers looked like they were headed for victory after opening up a 10-point lead via a 15-yard rushing touchdown by 14-year veteran fullback Rodney Filer with 10:45 remaining in the game.
“The O-line did a great job blocking. The wide receivers did a great job blocking. That left me one man to beat, which I did and I celebrated with my boys in the endzone,” Filer told sideline reporters during the game.
The Power were playing catch-up for most of the game largely in part to kicker Geoff Boyer’s inability to make an extra point. The 23-year-old kicker missed five consecutive extra points and seemingly damned the Power’s chances at victory.
After Filer’s touchdown however, the Power would go on to score 22 unanswered points that would put them in position to win the game. The sparking point of the momentum shift came with 5:39 remaining in the game when Pittsburgh’s Anthony DeGrate sacked Iowa quarterback J.J. Ratterink in the endzone for a safety, which cut the Iowa lead to two points. A 12-yard touchdown pass to Mike Washington and a successful 2-point conversion on the ensuring Pittsburgh possession gave the Power a 6-point lead with a minute left to go.
Pittsburgh’s defense then came up with another safety on Iowa’s next offensive possession when Ratterink fumbled the ball and the recovering Iowa lineman was tackled in the endzone. The Power offense was able to essentially bleed the rest of the clock out before scoring with 31 seconds remaining to put the game out of reach.
The Power coaching staff opted to start quarterback Andrico Hines instead of anticipated starter Bryan Randall despite Hines not starting a game since week 6 against the Orlando Predators. Hines performed efficiently; completing 23-of-39 passes for 284 yards with 6 total touchdowns and an interception. Receivers Mike Washington and Oderick Turner both had two receiving touchdowns while PJ Berry hauled in 6 receptions for 95 yards and a rushing touchdown.
The Power’s victory on Saturday marks the first time they have won on the field since April 14 (Cleveland forfeited to Pittsburgh on June 8). The Power will now aim their sights on the Tampa Bay Storm (6-9) whom they’ll take on at home next Saturday for “Whiteout Night” at 7:30pm EST.