DES MOINES—The Chicago Rush won their fourth consecutive game of the season Friday evening, defeating the Iowa Barnstormers 64-63 in overtime at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.Despite the high final score, neither team could make any noise coming out of the gate. Iowa quarterback JJ Raterink overthrew his receivers, and Rush quarterback Carson Coffman could not muster a good enough look to find his. After a 38 yard field goal attempt by Jose Martinez failed, Raterink took back over and found his stride. His eighth pass of the night found receiver Marcus Harris in the corner of the end zone, giving Iowa a 6-0 lead. Coffman followed it up by throwing his first interception in three weeks, and Raterink quickly made the Rush pay with a quarterback sneak that found the end zone, extending the lead to 13-0.Right as it looked as the game might be a repeat of Week 1, Coffman found Reggie Gray in the end zone on three consecutive drives. His 39, 18, and 34 yard connections gave the Rush 21 points in a twelve-and-a-half minute period. Raterink was also spot on, conducting two scoring drives of his own in that time span. After one more score by Iowa left 47 seconds to go in the second quarter, Coffman put together a six play drive that took time off the clock and most importantly, resulted in a score. This time it was Jared Jenkins’ turn, hauling down a six yard touchdown pass to give the Rush a 28-26 lead heading into halftime.The second half was full of ups and downs for the Rush, despite Coffman’s game becoming even more efficient. His three connections to three different receivers took his first drive down to the one yard line, and he did the rest with a quarterback keeper. As Raterink was attempting to get a few points back, Jorrick Calvin picked off a pass to Marco Thomas, providing the Rush with the ball and their first notable momentum of the night with a nine point cushion. After numerous Iowa penalties kept giving the Rush new life on the resulting possession, Coffman found Gray once again in the end zone to cap off a six minute drive.Just as the Rush were about to put it away for good, Iowa responded. After regaining eight points on the ensuing drive, it took the Barnstormer defense only one play to get the ball back after a Ter’Ran Benton interception. They quickly marched down the field and reclaimed eight more, as Thomas’ second touchdown of the night evened the game up at 42. With the scores clearly giving Iowa momentum, the fifth Coffman-to-Gray touchdown broke their backs yet again. A four and out by the Barnstormers gave the Rush the ball back, and like clockwork, Coffman found Gray for his sixth touchdown of the night, tying a Rush franchise record for touchdown receptions.Raterink was not one to go quietly though, as he quickly found Harris on a 42 yard connection to bridge the gap to seven points with just over seven minutes remaining. After the Rush could not respond, Iowa tied it up with another Thomas touchdown, leaving just under 12 seconds to go in regulation. A Martinez attempt at a game-winning field goal never came to fruition as the snap was wide.In overtime, it was much of the same as Iowa scored less than three minutes in, with Harris catching his fourth touchdown of the night in the corner of the end zone. The Rush didn’t blink, methodically marching down the field and coming within one after a Kelvin Morris touchdown run. After a timeout by the Rush bench, the decision was made to go for a two point conversion, which would end the game regardless of its result. Coffman took his snap and promptly found Jenkins in the back of the end zone to win it for the Rush, advancing their record to 4-2. The Rush will return home on Saturday, May 4th to face the Philadelphia Soul.
NOTES—Coffman: 23-36 for 354 yards and seven touchdowns (two interceptions)…Gray: 12 receptions for 234 yards and six touchdowns….Calvin: 12.5 tackles