PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Arizona Rattlers (10-2) are on the road this week to take on the Iowa Barnstormers (9-2) in a pivotal game with playoff implications. These two teams met two weeks ago in Phoenix, where the Barnstormers defeated the Rattlers in overtime 69-68, handing Arizona their first home loss this season. With only two games left in the regular season, the Rattlers control their own destiny for home-field advantage.
Last week, Arizona defeated the Nebraska Danger 45-40. Quarterback Jeff Ziemba had four total touchdowns and had 108 yards passing yards. The game was back and forth until the third quarter, when an 8-yard rushing score from Ziemba extended the lead to 12. The Rattlers never gave up the lead from that point.
In Iowa’s last game, they beat the Green Bay Blizzard 41-14. Barnstormers quarterback Drew Powell had six total touchdowns (three rushing and three passing) and 261 all-purpose yards to lead the offense. Iowa’s defense held the Blizzard scoreless until five minutes left in the third quarter and had two interceptions in the victory.
The Arizona offense leads the league in rushing, scoring, and yards gained. One of the reasons can be attributed to the league’s best offensive line and protecting QB Jeff Ziemba who is the least sacked quarterback in the league. Ziemba is tied for first in the league in passing touchdowns with 36. Wide receiver Anthony Amos is tied for first in receiving touchdowns with 16.
The Barnstormers defense leads the league in scoring defense, total defense, and rushing defense. Defensive back Bryce Enyard leads the league in interceptions with eight, and has one touchdown this season.
The Barnstormers offense is ranked third in the league in scoring, averaging about 45.8 points per game. Leading the Iowa offense is quarterback Drew Powell who is ranked first in total offense, averaging 222 yards per game. The Iowa rushing offense is ranked second behind Arizona by a difference of eight yards per game. Barnstormers receiver Brady Roland is third in the league in receiving yards per game with 55.
The Arizona defensive front leads the league with 22 sacks. Defensive lineman Josh Gordon is second on the team in sacks with 4.5, and second in the league in tackles for loss with 11. The defense has also forced the most turnovers in the IFL with 22. DB Arkeith Brown has four interceptions this year which is second in the league.
With the top two teams facing off for the third and final time this season, this game could shape the playoff picture. Arizona currently holds a half game lead over the Barnstormers. Iowa has one more game to play than Arizona. For the Rattlers, if they win out then they will have home-field advantage.
Kickoff is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. in Des Moines on Saturday, June 2nd, at Wells Fargo Arena. The game can be seen on YouTube Live (Search for keyword “IFL”).
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