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Fire defeats Iowa 58-28

March 29, 2008 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Louisville Fire News Release

Louisville, Ky- Louisville Fire Dominates Home Opener Against Barnstormers Louisville Fire wins over Iowa 58-28, starting the season 1-0.

The Louisville Fire dominated the season opener against the newly resurrected Barnstormers, defeating Iowa 58-28.

On the initial drive of the 2008 season, the Fire battled down the field with a combination of completed passes including a 16-yard gain by rookie Ricardo Lenhart and a pass completion to Nick Giordano. Fire quarterback and game MVP, Matt Bassuener hammered a short pass to the back of the end zone where Offensive Player of the Game, Lonnell Dewalt made the reception.

At the start of Iowa's first possession, Louisville rookie Brandon Register intercepted a pass by Davon Vinson. Following suit Iowa stole a Fire pass intended for Giordano. Ending the Iowa possession early, Fire newcomer Zachariah Babington-Johnson took down Vinson for a safety, moving the Fire a head 9-0. Babington-Johnson was voted ADT Defensive Player of the Game.

The Fire wasted no time increasing their lead as Bassuener connected with Dewalt for the second time on a 25-yard gain, setting up the QB rush, and advancing the score 16-0.

Iowa regained possession only to experience the hard-hitting Fire defense of Louisville's Jerome Jones, stopping the Iowa run on the third yard line. Then he intercepted an Iowa pass, and scored making it 23-0. After a short Iowa possession, Fire veteran Matt Forbes pulled down a pass intended for Jason Simpson late in the second quarter. Bassuener made another trip into the end zone, pushing the score to 30-0.

Marching down the field behind short passes and a quick carry led to a completed touchdown pass to rookie, Tymere Zimmerman. Finally, getting on the scoreboard Iowa's Bryan Pray sprinted untouched to the goal line for the first Iowa score. Louisville retired to the locker room for the first half leading Iowa, 37-7.

Coming back in the second half Iowa quickly completed a pass to Robert Kilow moving the score to 37-14.

Not to be outdone the Fire returned the favor as, Bassuener connected with Dewalt for the third time, posting the 44-14 score. Following a scoreless Iowa possession, second year quarterback Aaron Marshall entered the game completing his first pass to Nick Giordano. Unable to score as Iowa picked up a Louisville fumble, Iowa headed towards the end zone off a completed pass to Kilow.

Throwing for the end zone Marshall completed a juggled pass to Demetrius Forney for a short gain. With just under nine minutes left in the third quarter, Marshall connects with Nick Giordano for another Fire touchdown, marking a 30- point advantage over the Barnstormers.

Back on defense, Register broke up a long pass to Pray with 7:52 left in the fourth quarter. Despite the aggressive Louisville defense Iowa managed to produce two additional touchdowns including a short run by Joe Brannen (20-44) and a 30-yard pass completion to Pray, finishing the game at 58-28.

The Fire will hit the road for their first away game of the 2008 season on Saturday, April 5 against the South Georgia Wildcats. They will return to Freedom Hall on Friday, April 11 as they face the Quad City Steamwheelers.

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