Iowa Barnstormers win United Bowl

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Players to watch, Barnstormers win United Bowl
Ryan Balentine catches a pass during Saturday's United Bowl championship game. Photo by Connor Ferguson.

Sweet, sweet victory.

The Iowa Barnstormers have won the United Bowl, defeating the Sioux Falls Storm on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA.

Iowa Barnstormers win United Bowl

Coming into the game, Sioux Falls was experienced.

The team had appeared in every single Indoor Football League (IFL) United Bowl dating back to 2010.

Although, the Barnstormers came to play.

Iowa overcame multiple second half deficits to take the title away.

The win is Iowa’s first ever league championship in its 18-year history, stretching back to 1995.

Prior to this season, the Barnstormers had twice gone to the league championship while in the Arena Football League (AFL).

Iowa lost to Tampa Bay in the 1996 championship at home, and then lost the 1997 championship on the road at Arizona.

With the win, the Barnstormers will finish the season with a 13-3 record, winning 11 games in the 14-game regular season, and two more in the playoffs.

The success comes under the leadership of head coach Dixie Wooten, who was named Indoor Football League (IFL) coach of the year for the second straight season.

Wooten was aided by his quarterback, Drew Powell, who came home with the 2018 IFL MVP award, receiving it on the Thursday before the game. Powell finished the game accounting for each touchdown the Barnstormers scored.

Catching three of those touchdowns, was Ryan Balentine, a receiver who has been with Wooten for five straight IFL seasons.

Jamal Tyler scored the go-ahead and game-winning touchdown by muscling in a run that left 13 seconds on the clock.

After a series of penalties forced the point after yardage to increase to 45, kicker Josh Gable came on to ice the game and put Iowa up by four points.

Gable split the uprights, Sioux Falls failed to score, and the Barnstormers went on to win the 2018 United Bowl.

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