Iowa Barnstormers beat Arizona Rattlers on final play, in Overtime

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Drew Powell runs into the end zone in front of an Arizona defender during Iowa's win against the Rattlers in their home opener. Photo by Connor Ferguson.

Drew Powell had just ran a quarterback read and took the ball into the Arizona Rattlers end zone on 4th and goal during overtime of Sunday’s game.

The Barnstormers had trailed 68-61 prior to Powell’s score, and if they didn’t reach the end zone, then they would be sent home packing.

Powell’s touchdown trimmed the Rattlers lead to one. As Iowa kicker Cody Barber marched onto the field, Arizona coach Kevin Guy threw his challenge flag.

Guy didn’t have any timeouts, but there presumably wasn’t anything to challenge anyway. It seemed as though Guy was just trying to ice the kicker.

After they got Guy off of the field, and explained he couldn’t challenge it, Barnstormers coach Dixie Wooten changed his mind.

Wooten elected to go for two points, so Powell and company ran back onto the field.

Powell lined up in his typical shot gun snap setting, with Donavan Williams to his left. His three receivers would line up to his right. Two of them, Ryan Balentine and Sheldon Augustine, were in motion while Brady Roland lined up at a stand still on the outside of them.

Keep in mind that Powell had already scored four rushing touchdowns that game.

Powell took the snap, tucked the ball and took a step towards the center. It looked like a run. Rattlers Defensive back Nathan Lindsey sprinted at Powell, trying to get to him before he ran in for his fifth rushing touchdown of the night.

However, it was a fake.

Powell stepped back, and saw that the safety was looking at the run as well before getting caught up with Balentine.

Roland stood in the back corner of the end zone, screaming with both hands up. Powell found him, and the Barnstormers converted the two-point conversion.

Iowa Barnstormers beat Arizona Rattlers on final play, in Overtime

Iowa fans rejoiced.

The Barnstormers defeated the Rattlers 69-68 in overtime on Sunday night to improve to 8-2 on the season, and take, “First place,” in the league.

Arizona falls to 9-2 on the season, but holds the top spot because they have played one more game than the Barnstormers have.

The win was Iowa’s fifth victory in a row, and first overtime victory since the team beat the Spokane Shock in the 2012 season opener.

From start to finish, Sunday’s game was a true display of offenses.

Not only was there zero turnovers, but only once all night did a team possess the ball and failed to score a touchdown.

Iowa kicked off to start the game and would quickly go down 7-0 after new Arizona running back Dylan Peebles scored on the Rattlers fourth play.

The teams would trade scores before B.J. Butler, who normally plays defensive line, lined up at running back and caught a shuffle pass to take it into the end zone.

Coach Guy from Arizona had called Butler overrated prior to the first match-up between the teams, so it was fitting that Iowa threw in the surprise play.

The teams continued to trade touchdowns as Arizona went into the second half with a 35-28 lead.

In the second half, Brady Roland would catch two touchdowns, including a 45-yarder that would trim the Arizona lead to 42-40.

That’s when Iowa’s big break came.

The Barnstormer defense forced Arizona to kick a field goal, the first time of the night either team didn’t score a touchdown.

Later in the game, quarterback Jeff Ziemba would find a gap to go through to put Arizona ahead 58-54 with 50 seconds to play.

Wooten and Powell lead Iowa down the field with multiple 10-yard curl routes to Balentine before a nine-yard rush by Donavan Williams.

They gave Arizona 22 seconds to score.

Arizona returner Dezmon Epps ran the ball to the Iowa 10-yard line and set up a 1st and goal with 16 seconds remaining.

If Arizona could find the end zone, the game would have been over, but the Barnstomer defense came up big once again.

Arizona was forced to kick a field goal, tying the game at 61.

The Rattlers took the ball first in overtime and scored quickly to take a 68-61 lead.

Then Drew Powell happened. The rest is history.

Powell finished 19-21 with 191 yards passing, 94 yards rushing, and nine total touchdowns. Roland lead the receivers with 77 yards on four receptions and two scores. Coolidge, AZ native Cody Barber was 3-5 on extra points.

Iowa’s next game will be at Wells Fargo Arena on Friday night, when the team takes on the 2-8 Green Bay Blizzard.

Iowa’s Remaining Schedule
May 25 vs. Green Bay Blizzard
June 02 vs. Arizona Rattlers
June 08 @ Sioux Falls Storm
June 16 vs. Cedar Rapids Titans

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