CEDAR RAPIDS – Losing momentum during an off week is a common concern for football coaches at any level. Some prefer to keep playing, others prefer to rest and heal. But two weeks in a row?
Following a strong 4-0 start to the season for the Cedar Rapids Titans, a quirk of the Indoor Football League schedule called for consecutive off weeks.
“The double-bye week is kind of like a two-edged knife,” Stoute said. “Guys can get some time off and get away from it. Then the problem is, in the time off and getting away from it, you get rusty. You slow down the momentum you had going into the break.”
The rust was evident.
Green Bay receiver B.J. Hill's leaping touchdown grab in overtime served the Cedar Rapids Titans their first defeat this season, 41-38, to the winless Green Bay Blizzard in front of a dejected sellout crowd Saturday night at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
Olin-native Colton Hansen’s five-yard touchdown pass to Carl Sims with 13.8 second remaining appeared to win it for the Titans, but Green Bay kicker Jordan Wettstein's 48-yard field goal as time expired tied the game at 32-32. The field goal didn't actually go through the uprights, but due to the low-hanging rafters at the Ice Arena, it was ruled good.
The teams exchanged field goals in the extra session, then the Titans added another for a brief 38-35 lead.
Titans starting quarterback Charles McCullum was off-target in the first quarter, completing just one of four passes for zero yards. He found his touch in the second, completing seven of his next 10 passes for 89 yards, capped by a 17-yard touchdown to receiver Sims for a 19-17 halftime lead.
The third quarter appeared destined for a scoreless stalemate until Hansen entered the game and on his first play, he hit a streaking Sims for a 37-yard touchdown and a 25-17 lead.
“We knew coming in that we had two pretty good quarterbacks,” Stoute said. “It’s a long season, a lot of things can happen. In my mind, having two quarterbacks that can get it done is an absolute must.”
Hansen finished with 77 yards passing and two scores, while McCullum added 89 yards and one score.
Green Bay quarterback Donovan Porterie engineered consecutive scoring drives with an onside kick recovery sandwiched in between to give Green Bay a 29-25 lead. Porterie threw for four touchdowns, and ran for another for the Blizzard (1-4).
Xzavie Jackson registered two sacks for a league-leading 11 this season.The Titans hit the road for two weeks before returning home Apr. 20 to face the Chicago Slaughter.