Share This Page

Power hold on for 11th straight win

| Saturday, July 19, 2014, 11:20 p.m.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The dream continued for the Power on Saturday night as they slipped by the struggling Iowa Barnstormers, 59-56, to capture their 11th consecutive Arena Football League win.

Power kicker Julian Rauch connected on a 22-yard field goal as time expired — his third game-winner of the season. The Power improved to 14-3, while the Barnstormers fell to 6-11 with their sixth straight loss.

“We pretty much knew that game was wrapped up when (Rauch) went out there,” Power quarterback Tommy Grady said. “He's pretty consistent on big games and at the end of games. We've relied on him a few times, and he's come through every time.”

Grady, who finished with 310 yards and six touchdowns, became the 10th quarterback in AFL history to throw for 500 touchdowns. He has 505 in his career.

“I was trying to throw one touchdown at a time when I started off in this league,” Grady said. “This is my fifth year now and stats rack up, and health is a big issue, and I've played with some great receivers and some great lineman. It's a collective effort from all of those guys.”

It appeared the Power would roll after defensive back Virgil Gray returned a Hail Mary attempt 50 yards for a score as time expired in the first half to give the Power a 35-19 lead.

But the Barnstormers would not surrender, and Iowa receiver Darius Reynolds was unstoppable in the third quarter, catching three touchdowns from Carson Coffman.

The Barnstormers regained a lead they hadn't had since the first quarter when Reynolds caught a sixth touchdown from Coffman early in the fourth.

After a quick counter from the Power, Iowa converted a rare field goal to give it a 50-49 advantage after the Power defense came up with three stops with Iowa on the 2.

The teams traded touchdowns, but Iowa kicker Ross Gornall missed his third point-after attempt, and the score stayed 56-56.

Masterful clock management down the stretch by the Power solidified a chance for Rauch to hit the game-winning field goal.

“We've got a gritty team, a team that accepts nothing more than winning games,” Power coach Ron James said. “But we're just not pleased with how we handled the last two games on the road. We're going to have to be in the road for the playoffs, and we're going to have to play better.”

Reynolds was sensational, tying a franchise record with seven touchdown receptions.

The Power will play Philadelphia next week before facing Orlando in the first round of the playoffs.

T.J. Rushing is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.