Dodge To Reprise Ironman Role, Returns To Defensive Backfield
DES MOINES - When the Barnstormers defense takes the field this Friday in Green Bay, there will be a new, but familiar, face in the team's secondary. Arena football veteran, Tim Dodge, will start at defensive back in place of the injured Tanner Varner.
Dodge is a throwback to the origins of arena football when players were required to play both sides of the football. Dodge, who had exclusively played wide receiver for the Barnstormers this year until Varner's injury, is no stranger to double duty as he was named the entire af2 league's Ironman of the Year in 2004 and played defensive back during his college career at the University of Iowa.
WR Pray Receives League Honors. WR Bryan Pray was recognized by the af2 as the league's Week 5 recipient of the Cutters Catch of the Week Award, a weekly honor that emerged in 2006 to highlight the player who makes the best catch of the week. Pray's catch was a leaping, 5-yard touchdown grab with less than four minutes to play in the fourth quarter to help propel the Barnstormers to a 47-24 home victory against the Stockton Lightning. The rookie from Pittsburg State out jumped a Lightning defender to snare QB Joe Brannen's pass after it ricocheted off the rebound net. Pray's grab capped off a solid overall showing that included four catches for 40 yards and one touchdown. He currently ranks second on the Barnstormers in touchdown receptions (3) and third in receptions (16) and receiving yards (158).
Roster News. The Barnstormers announced that DB Tanner Varner, who injured his hamstring against Stockton, will be inactive for Friday's game in Green Bay. Replacing Varner on the Barnstormers' roster will be LB/WR Rasheem Sharpe. Sharpe will step on the field for the first time this season, having spent the first four games on the team's injured reserve list. The team also placed back-up QB Buddy Rivera on Injured Reserve after the rookie from Northern Michigan University injured his ankle on special teams play late in Saturday's win. Replacing Rivera on the Barnstormers roster is veteran QB Neal Sharma, who has stops in Louisville, Cincinnati, Laredo, and Bakersfield on his arena resume.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2, at U.S. Cellular Field at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Barnstormers' fans can catch all the action in Green Bay live on the radio at ESPN AM 1700 The Champ or broadcast online on the Barnstormers Video Network found at www.theiowabarnstormers.com.
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