River Kings Drop Season Opener at Home

by Dakota W. Zientek

CEDAR RAPIDS - In the inaugural game of the 2020 season, the River Kings squared up against the Quad City Steamwheelers in a long-awaited matchup for the IFL community. With an almost completely new roster, the River Kings were ready to line up against someone without a River Kings uniform. For Cedar Rapids, they find themselves losing game one 54-39 in a tough-fought battle against the Steamwheelers. 

In the first quarter, the River Kings had a few missed opportunities, but all-in-all, the team, as it is almost completely new from last season, seems to be creating chemistry all across the board. Unfortunately for the River Kings, their first play of the 2020 IFL season was spent watching the Steamwheelers’ kick returner, Keyvan Rudd, find his way to the end zone. The River Kings’ first drive was ruled a turnover on downs, however, over the next few drives, the Cedar Rapids’ offense, behind 27-year-old quarterback Derrick Bernard, showed a lot of promise for Cedar Rapids fans with his quick agility, strong arm, and playmaker mentality. He went 9/25 with 72 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception through the air. On the ground, he rushed seven times for 42 yards and a touchdown showing that he truly is a dual-threat to the opponent at hand.

To close the first half, the River Kings found themselves down big, as the score favored Quad Cities 40-13. While morale could have been assumed to be low, the River Kings came back kicking in the second half. 

At the beginning of the second half, Derrick Bernard and the River Kings offense found themselves scoring on their first drive from half-time. After being scored on with less than 20 seconds left in the first half, the River Kings considered this their answer. This gave the River Kings a much-needed spark, both on offense and defense. The Cedar Rapids defense only gave up one score during the third quarter, which put the score at 47-21: Quad Cities, going into the final quarter of play. 

With an energizing fourth quarter effort, the River Kings didn't go down without a fight. Scoring two touchdowns in the final minute, the U.S. Cellular Center was jumping with energy. However, the River Kings ran out of time, causing them to leave the arena with a lonely tally in the loss column and determination for a win in Week 2.  

Next up for Cedar Rapids is a trip down to San Diego, where the River Kings will square up against the Strike Force. If you’re unable to make the trip to sunny San Diego, take an easier trip to the Indoor Football League’s YouTube Channel, where you can catch all the action in real-time from the comfort of your couch. Also, be sure to follow the River Kings’ Twitter account, @GoRiverKings, for up-to-date coverage during games.