ABC5 Sports Desk
Portland, OR – In a game which started off with deja vu from Week 1, the Iowa Barnstormers (1-1) prevailed over the Portland Thunder (0-2) with a fourth quarter comeback. After closing a scoreless third quarter for the Barnstormers, QB Carson Coffman found a groove with WR Darius Reynolds for a game-saving rally. Iowa's defense was able to hang on just long enough to keep Portland from a last-minute triumph.
In the first quarter, Iowa Barnstormers quarterback Carson Coffman took no time finding his key receiver, Marco Thomas for a long 33-yard touchdown. Despite a scoreboard in favor of the Barnstormers, the quarter wasn't ideal for either team. Portland started their rookie quarterback battle off with Darron Thomas who gave up two interceptions within the first eight minutes of the game. During his first drive of the game, Thomas' competitor Nathan Enderle put a pass up only to be intercepted by Iowa's Jason Simpson. The expiration of the play clock recorded a total of four interceptions, three for Portland along with Coffman's first on the 2014 season, and the Barnstormers on top, 7-0. Fans saw just a glimpse of what would turn into a penalty-driven game.
Keeping from falling too far behind, the Portland Thunder completed a field goal early in the second quarter. After the exit of Mike Garrity due to a lower leg injury, the Barnstormers offense seemed to crumble. With a reformed line, the team struggled to protect Coffman from the determined defense. Iowa managed to sneak in two end zone appearances during quarter two, one for M. Thomas and another for DeJay Lester, his first on the season. Portland's Duane Brooks made his presence known, tallying the team's first and only touchdown of the half.
Coffman went without any touchdown completions just after the opening of the second half, although finished the game with 285 yards and six touchdowns. Throwing with 61.5% accuracy, he completed 24-of-39 passes, but gave up three total interceptions. The Thunder dominated the field with an early touchdown pass from Darron Thomas to Jeffrey Solomon. Taking advantage of the Barnstormers mistakes, the home team also scored on a fumble recovery brining the game to 20-23, Portland.Entering the final quarter of the game, the Portland Thunder seemed to have the home victory in near-sight until Barnstormers Darius Reynolds took matters into his own hands. As Coffman's main contact for the quarter, Reynolds collected three touchdowns and 117 receiving yards, the team's leader for the night. Portland was only able to retaliate once with another Solomon touchdown, which wasn't enough to lead when the clock ran out. The Barnstormers defense was able to take control during Portland's final drive, keeping fans from knowing the outcome until the final seconds of the game. The Barnstormers earned their first win of the 2014 season, 40-36.