The Blizzard opened the 2018 season with a tough 20-41 loss to the Iowa Barnstormers at home. Green Bay kept the game close until the 4th quarter when the Barnstormers pulled away with two unanswered touchdowns in the 4th.
The game opened with the Blizzard defense immediately stopping Iowa in four downs. The offensive came onto the field for the first time of the new season with great field position and ended with kicker Jeff Budzien giving them the early 3-0 lead with a 21 yard field goal.
However, the lead did not last long as the Barnstormers capped a drive with a 4 yard touchdown run.
With the Blizzard down 7-3, newly acquired Blizzard quarterback Christian Lemay answered right back with a touchdown run of his own. Lemay, running the play action, took it himself towards the middle of the field and with some great blocking, managed to take it all the way for a nifty 20 yard touchdown to give the Blizzard a 10-7 lead at the end of the 1st quarter.
In the 2nd quarter, Iowa retook the lead with a touchdown pass to Jonathan Duarte, making the score 14-10. Green Bay quickly came back with B.J. Hill returning the kickoff all the way to midfield. This set up Blizzard kicker Jeff Budzien to snipe a field goal from 43 yards out to narrow Iowa’s lead to 14-13.
Iowa tacked on two more field goals to end the 2nd quarter, giving the Iowa the 20-13 lead over the Blizzard at the half.
Both teams entered the 3rd quarter with an increased emphasis on defense as neither team were able to find the endzone. A huge 4th down sack by linebacker Josh Francis that forced Iowa to give up the ball on Green Bay’s goal line highlighted their defense effort.
At the start of the 4th quarter, the Barnstormers completed a touchdown pass to extend their lead 27-13. However, Quarterback Christian Lemay for the Blizzard retaliated back in their next possession, with a bullet through traffic to Chris Malott for the 20 yard touchdown to shrink the lead to just seven.
Despite that, Iowa pulled away with two more unanswered touchdowns in the late stages of the game to clinch the game 41-20.
The standout offensive performers of the game were B.J. Hill who had 122 all-purpose yards and Christian Lemay who had a touchdown on the ground and in the air. For the defense, B.J. Hill also had 10 tackles, Josh Francis recorded a sack and 9 tackles, and Sean Daniels had 8 tackles as well.
The Blizzard travel to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for their next game on Friday to face off against the Titans (0-1) at 7:05 p.m.