CEDAR RAPIDS — Fans sang along to “Sweet Caroline.” Titan receivers put on a choreographed dance at midfield. The playoff-clinching party at Cedar Rapids Ice Arena began midway through the third quarter.
It turned out to be a major false start.
But by the end of the night, fans were celebrating again after a wild, thrilling 49-42 victory.
The Cedar Rapids Titans blew a 20-point second-half lead Saturday night but rebounded to beat the Green Bay Blizzard and gain their first IFL postseason bid with a 9-5 record. The Titans scored effortlessly for the first 37 minutes or so. Quarterback Colton Hansen threw four touchdown strikes, including a few long ones on the run to receivers Carl Sims and Bryan Pray. Defensive back TJ Simmons scooped up a missed field goal and weaved his way down the field for a 48-yard scoring return.
But Hansen, who is playing in relief of injured starter Charles McCullum, committed four turnovers, including three interceptions. It almost cost the Titans the game.
Trailing 33-13, Green Bay marched on an efficient drive to a touchdown pass from Ohm. Then Hansen lost a fumble at the end of a long run. That led to a 26-yard touchdown pass from Ohm to receiver Jon Meadows, who wrestled the ball away from a Titan defensive back.
The game continued to spiral out of hand for Cedar Rapids when Hansen threw an interception in the end zone. The former Dubuque University quarterback is playing in relief of injured starter Charles McCullum, and his four turnovers proved costly.
After the interception, Ohm scored on the ground to put Green Bay ahead 34-33, silencing a stunned Cedar Rapids crowd.
But the Titans stayed composed and answered by keeping the ball on the ground. Anthony Silvers carried several times and eventually plunging into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown run. A successful conversion gave Cedar Rapids a 42-34 lead, and another Silvers touchdown with 1:12 left put a capper on the victory. Ohm threw one more touchdown pass with less than a minute remaining.
Cedar Rapids got a huge performance Xzavie Jackson. The 6-3, 295-pound defensive end smothered Green Bay’s offense early, recording three sacks, an interception, and a blocked field goal.