River Kings Fall at Steamwheelers

by Nic Ryder

The River Kings had a new man at quarterback for most of the game, but the result was the same as Cedar Rapids fell to the Quad City Steamwheelers, 48-29 Friday night in Rock Island, Illinois. The Steamwheelers (4-7) needed the win to keep their playoff hopes alive while the River Kings (1-10) are still winless on the road. 

The River Kings put in newly acquired quarterback Dalton Oliver in the second quarter, replacing starter Ben Wilkerson, who had gone 3-5 for 35 yards but couldn't find the endzone. Oliver went 11-21 for 118 yards and had three touchdowns. The new quarterback also had one interception. 

Cedar Rapids could not find any traction on the ground, netting just 9 total yards rushing on the night. Starting quarterback Wilkerson led the squad in rushing with 23 yards on nine attempts. 

After scoring a touchdown on the opening possession of the second half, Steamwheeler quarterback EJ Hilliard fumbled a snap on the Quad City's first play after the kickoff and the River Kings recovered. Oliver needed just one play to find Jordan Smith for his second touchdown pass of the night, pulling Cedar Rapids to within four points at 27-23. Smith finished the night with those two scores, four receptions and 41 yards. 

After Phillip Nwosu's short kickoff the Cedar Rapids' defense came up with a defensive stand, keeping the Steamwheelers from scoring and forcing a turnover on downs. Oliver threw his first interception of the night to end the River Kings successive drive. 

The Steamwheelers put the ball in the endzone on their next drive, going up 34-23 on a Zavier Steward six yard touchdown run. Quad City would score again to go up 41-23 before the River Kings answered with a 23 yard touchdown pass from Oliver to Marquel Wade, to pull within 12 points after a missed PAT. A failed onside kick attempt led to a short field for the Steamwheelers, and Hilliard ran in from seven yards out for the final Quad City touchdown of the night. 

Tonight's game is bookended by bye weeks, as the River Kings were off last week and are off again next. Cedar Rapids returns home June 1st for their first home game in a month against the Arizona Rattlers. Tickets are available here.