Cedar Rapids falls to San Diego, 40-34

by Nic Ryder

San Diego - The Cedar Rapids River Kings (1-6) dropped their second road game in a row Sunday night against the San Diego Strike Force (1-6). 

The River Kings used a defensive stand to force a San Diego field goal attempt with 3:05 left in the game, trailing 40-27, when Nick Brassell caught the short kick and ran it back for a touchdown. The PAT cut the San Diego lead to 40-34, but Cedar Rapids gave up a third down with just over one minute left in the game and could not stop the Strike Force again in the final minute. 

Quarterback Kurt Palandech finished 11-15 for 134 yards and one touchdown. Jordan Smith was the leading receiver with five catches for 59 yards and caught one touchdown. Ezell Ruffin added three catches for 33 yards and Drake White caught a pair of throws for 28 yards. 

Damante Horton led the River Kings defense, earning nine total tackles including four solos and half a tackle for loss. Kevon Perry earned a sack while Jeff Branch and Walter Walker each earned half a sack each. 

San Diego put together a solid game, earning 218 yards of total offense, rushing for 104 and throwing for the other 114. Quarterback Jiha Vercher went 12-19 and scored two touchdowns, while they had three different rushers find the end zone as well. 

The River Kings are next in action this Saturday, April 20th, agains the Bismarck Bucks at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. Tickets can be purchased here for the game and it kicks off at 6:05 CDT.