Motivated Command team heads to Des MoinesMay 11, 2012 - Arena Football League (AFL) Kansas City Command
The Command held a fourth-quarter lead for the first time this season and maintained a 31-27 advantage until the Talons scored 14 points in the final 3:57 to win by 10.
The Command defense played arguably their best game of the year, holding San Antonio to just 41 points and 231 yards of total offense. DB Sergio Gilliam had two interceptions in the game and earned the AFL's Riddell Defensive Player of the Week award.
"Our defense is playing championship-level football," Coach Danton Barto said. "We can't ask for anything more from them."
The offense for the Command continued to struggle, especially early and late. Kansas City got just three points out of its first three possessions and was shut out in the fourth quarter for the third time in seven games. The last three Command drives resulted in a missed field goal, lost fumble and turnover on downs.
Iowa led 28-24 at the half and 42-38 late in the third quarter, but after scoring touchdowns in each of their first six possessions, the Barnstormers scored just one TD and gave up a safety and two turnovers on downs the final four times they had the ball.
The Barnstormers quarterback is JJ Raterink who started the first 13 games of the 2011 season for the Command before getting traded to Chicago. Raterink threw for 358 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions against the Rush on Sunday.
The Command and Barnstormers faced off for the first time last year and met twice, with the home team emerging victorious in both contests. The first-ever Kansas City Command victory came in last season's home opener on April 9 against Iowa 62-48. Bradly Chavez and Bret Smith each had three TD receptions for KC. Iowa won 48-40 on July 9 in Des Moines. Smith had his second big game against the Barnstormers, catching 12 passes for 156 yards.
The Command wrap up a short two-game road trip with a game against the Pittsburgh Power. It will be the first game ever between the two franchises. The Power, 2-6, are coached by former Kansas City Brigade offensive coordinator Chris Siegfried. The game will air live on Sports Radio 810 WHB and Ustream.tv/kansascitycommand and will be tape delayed on KSMO TV 62.
Scouting the Barnstormers
Iowa is coming off a tough four-game stretch in which they played arguably the four best teams in the National Conference. After beating Arizona 56-54, Iowa lost three straight to Utah (63-62), San Jose (76-33) and Chicago (61-50). The San Jose game was notable for the fact the Barnstormers failed to score in the second half after trailing just 41-33 after two quarters. Six Iowa possessions ended with and interception, a fumble and a remarkable four turnovers on downs.
Besides the obvious sub-par performance at home against the SaberCats, Iowa has played well offensively. QB JJ Raterink ranks fifth in the AFL with 292 passing yards per game and has thrown just four interceptions. Jesse Schmidt is among the League leaders in several receiving categories. His 26 touchdowns and 131 yards per game each rank third. FB Rodney Filer, in his 14th AFL season, is among the League's career top 10 in rushing yards, attempts and TDs. One offensive problem: Iowa has not done a good job of protecting Raterink. The Barnstormers have allowed a League-high 26 sacks on the year.
Iowa has the AFL's 17th-ranked scoring defense, allowing over 61 points per game. The defense has forced 20 turnovers, led by DBs Jason Simpson (five INTs) and Cameron McGlenn (four INTs). Both also rank among the League's top 10 in tackles with over 50 each. Simpson is a special teams weapon as well, averaging 21.5 yards on kick returns, second-best in the AFL.
JJ Raterink started the first 13 games of the 2011 season for the Command at quarterback and ended up the team's leading passer and rusher. He threw for over 3,700 yards and 65 touchdowns and ran another 144 yards and five scores. He was traded to Chicago in June after relinquishing the starting job to Stephen Wasil.
Iowa DB Jason Simpson was a 2005 team captain and three-year starter at Missouri. He played for the Chicago Rush last year.
Arena Football League Stories from May 11, 2012
- Gladiators Defeat Mustangs on NFL Network, 69-48 - Cleveland Gladiators
- Mustangs Unable To Come Back, Fall 69-48 - Milwaukee Mustangs
- Sharks Trade for Micheaux Robinson - Jacksonville Sharks
- Dutton Named Week 10 National Guard Community MVP - Cleveland Gladiators
- AFL Opens 2012 NET10 Dream Team Voting - AFL
- Motivated Command team heads to Des Moines - Kansas City Command
- Marcus Allen Returns to Kansas City - Kansas City Command
- Dutton Named Week 10 National Guard Community MVP - AFL
- Sharks Head North to Slow Down Soul - Jacksonville Sharks
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