Powerful in Iowa
DES MOINES (June 30, 2012)- The Pittsburgh Power picked up a huge victory Saturday night going on the road to take down the Iowa Barnstormers 56-49.
The Power erased a ten-point deficit in the second half, scoring 24 unanswered points late to come away with Derek Stingley’s first win as Power head coach and the team’s first on-field win since April.
Andrico Hines got the start for the Power tonight and had a hot-and-cold start to the game. On Pittsburgh’s first drive, Hines connected with Mike Washington in the corner of the end zone for a Power touchdown to put the first points on the board. But after the Barnstormers tied the game up on a J.J. Raterink touchdown pass to Jesse Schmidt, Hines was intercepted by Jason Simpson who took it home for a score to put Iowa up 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Tyre Young opened up the scoring in the second quarter with a touchdown run to tie the game up at 14. Iowa and Pittsburgh traded rushing scores early in the second quarter, but a missed point after attempt gave Iowa a 21-20 lead.
Iowa has given up more sacks than any team in the Arena Football League, and late in the first half is when the Power defense began to exploit that. The Power were able to put heavy pressure on Raterink forcing a turnover on downs, allowing the Power to score late on a P.J. Berry touchdown run to take a 26-21 lead into the half.
Once the third quarter started, Iowa began to take control of the game. On their first possession of the second half, Schmidt took a quick pitch from Raterink to give the ‘Stormers an early lead. From there, the Barnstormers stopped the Power offense on downs giving Iowa a chance to extend their lead to 35-26 on a Marco Thomas touchdown reception.
The Power cut away at the lead to start the fourth quarter when Oderick Turner received the pass from Hines and pinballed his way through Iowa defenders for the score to cut the deficit to three. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, Filer had other plans, scampering in for his second touchdown on the night to put the Barnstormers up by ten.
After that Iowa score is when the Power exploded. The comeback started with a Hines bomb to Turner down the sidelines to put the Power within four of Iowa. From there, the defense took over once again. Pittsburgh linebacker Anthony DeGrate got to Raterink in the end zone for a safety that cut the lead to two.
Hines made his biggest play on the night on Pittsburgh’s ensuing possession. On fourth down, Hines was flushed to the pocket and floated up a ball to Mike Washington to give Pittsburgh the lead. A two-point conversion put Pittsburgh up by six late in the contest.
Iowa’s next offensive possession met the same fate as it’s previous one. Neil Purvis got heavy pressure off the left side and knocked the ball out of Raterink’s hands falling into a Barnstormer lineman’s lap giving the Power their second safety on the night.
A failed onside kick attempt gave the Power great field position allowing Hines to sneak in for his second rushing touchdown of the game to put Pittsburgh up 56-42.
Iowa added a late touchdown, but it was too little, too late for the Barnstormers. Pittsburgh picked up their fourth win of the season. Iowa falls to 5-10 with the loss.
Hines finished 23-of-39 for 284 yards and six total touchdowns. Washington and Turner each had a pair of receiving touchdowns on the night.
The Power return home next week to face the Tampa Bay Storm. With three games remaining on the schedule, Saturday’s win will be a big confidence boost for the Power to complete a strong finish to their season.