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 Quad City Steamwheelers

Steamwheelers Late Game Momentum Falls Short

April 7, 2024 - Indoor Football League (IFL)
Quad City Steamwheelers News Release

For the first game of a 3 game season series, the Quad City Steamwheelers welcomed the Green Bay Blizzard to Vibrant Arena at the MARK for early season conference battle.

The sQUAD started off well on their first drive down the field. After an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Blizzard, Edward Vander had a huge 20 yard run to get things started for the Steamwheelers. An 8 yard reception from Judd Erickson to Keyvan Rudd would push the Wheelers even closer to the goal line. However a Kyle Kaplan FG attempt was blocked by the Blizzard defense, giving the Blizzard the ball.

The Steamwheeler defense however started to go on a roll with stop after stop on the next drive by Sherrod Paige, Jaylin Swan, Malik Duncan, and Darreon Jackson. Soon after, unfortunately a key Wheeler would leave the game, Darreon Jackson was injured while attempting a tackle on a Blizzard run play, he did not return to play the rest of the game.

After Jackson's injury, the arena got cold and a Blizzard started coming down, Green Bay started moving the chains which led to an eventual Touchdown by QB Skyler Perry. After a good extra point the Blizzard ended up leading the Steamwheelers 7-0 going into the 2nd quarter.

The Wheelers were finally able to put a score on the board with a Kaplan FG, making the score 7-3, with the Blizzard still up in the beginning of the 2nd quarter. The Blizzard continued on with a huge kick return and a tripping penalty on the Steamwheelers, this led to another Blizzard TD this time by Jayln Cagle. After a good extra kick, Green Bay led 14-3 over the sQUAD.

After a tough drive down the field for the Wheelers ends with an Erickson pass out of bounds, QC turns the ball over on downs. The Blizzard capitalized on the momentum with another rushing TD by Cagle, his second of the game.

The Steamwheelers offensive struggles continued throughout the game. The rest of the Quarter consisted of dropped passes, the Blizzard defensive line putting on pressure, and some team miscommunication. A pass to Edward Vander however would start a drive for the Wheelers that was carried by Vander and capped off by a Keyvan Rudd touchdown, his first of the season. After a Kaplan extra point going thru the uprights, the Wheelers inched closer to the Blizzard, making the score 20-10 with Green Bay still in the lead at halftime.

The second half started off quick for the Wheelers with a 10 yard pass from Erickson to Jarrod Harrington, then Vander had an insane acrobatic rushing touchdown to bring the sQUAD closer to the Blizzard. After another Kaplan extra point the score was 20 -17 with the Steamwheelers hot on the Blizzard's trail.

The Blizzard got down the field fast with a huge kick return and a TD to finish off the drive. A failed PAT brought the score to 26-17 with Green Bay in the lead.

Harrington got the Wheelers in scoring position with a huge 35 yard kick return to start off their next drive down the field. Two short carries and another sack on Erickson and the Steamwheelers are having a rough drive that is saved by another Keyvan Rudd TD, bringing his total to two on the night. Kaplan with a good PAT makes it a 26-24 game, bringing the Wheelers to within two points to tie the Blizzard. The rest of the 3rd was taken over by the Steamwheeler defense, who stonewalled Green Bay, with some help from Wheeler Nation in the stands bringing the energy.

The 4th quarter started huge for the Steamwheelers with the defense forcing a turnover on downs. The offense however, had a rough time the rest of the game, a huge 14 yard pass to Ka'Ron Ashley gave the offense some juice that was slowly emptied onto the field after they struggled to get the ball in the endzone.

The Blizzard's next drive saw their QB Skyler Perry rush the ball down field by himself, ending in a rushing TD for the Blizzard by Perry, bringing the score to 32-24. The Steamwheelers had one last chance to get close in the score column but they were halted by Green Bay with a sack on fourth down.

The Steamwheelers are now 1-1 on the year and the Blizzard get their second win of the season, making their record 2-1

The sQUAD plays next Saturday away, against the Frisco Fighters, the Fighters ended the Steamwheelers season in the 2023 IFL Playoffs. The Wheelers will be looking to bounce back after this loss, as well as looking for a get back for the end of last season.

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