River Kings Return Home Against Arizona
With playoffs out of the question for Cedar Rapids, the rest of this season is about tightening up loose bolts for next. One of those loose bolts is at the quarterback position, but Cedar Rapids might have found their guy.
Dalton Oliver, third quarterback to get behind center for Cedar Rapids, got his time to shine against Quad City after Ben Wilkerson’s departure from the game (3-5; 25 yards). His performance was noticed, as he completed approximately 50% of his passes (11-21) for 118 yards, three touchdowns, and a lonely interception. His progression in these next few games will be very good for Dalton to get important reps.
With a new quarterback throwing to them, the receivers seemed to be consistent in recent games. Drake White reeled in five balls for 51 yards, and a single touchdown. Marquel Wade caught four for 51 yards, and a touchdown, while Jordan Smith also caught four for 41 yards and two scores. The receiving core seemed to warm up well to the new guy.
On the ground, Wilkerson was the top guy. He ran the ball nine times for 23 yards, but he was unable to find the end zone. Nate Chavious, who has shown he can be an offensive weapon, rushed the ball a meager three rushes for negative four yards. However, he was able to make up for his lackluster performance on the ground by returning three kickoffs for 106 yards returning and a touchdown. The River Kings will need to find their running game if they plan on having offensive success, especially with a newer quarterback.
Defensively, the River Kings find themselves rarely stopping teams from scoring. Against the Quad Cities, the River Kings only stopped the Steamwheelers from scoring on two drives. Out of eleven drives, six of them resulted in touchdowns and two of them resulted in field goals. If the River Kings want to win anymore games, they’re going to need to find a way to keep the enemy out of the end zone.
On the opposing side in this Week 15 matchup, the River Kings will be facing the undefeated Arizona Rattlers. While, on paper, this game does not mean much to either team, wouldn’t it be a great story if these River Kings broke an eleven game win streak?
At quarterback, Arizona uses Drew Powell for their quarterbacking needs. He had a near perfect game throwing close to 85% (13-15) which resulted in 180 yards, five touchdowns, and a goose egg in the interceptions column.
While Arizona has a lot of offensive weapons, Powell found himself throwing mainly to two guys: Jarrod Harrington (7 receptions, 114 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Quincy Walden (4 receptions, 56 yards, 2 touchdowns). If Cedar Rapids wants to find success against this white-hot team, they will need to make sure this duo does not rise above.
As far as rushing went for Arizona, Powell added onto his five passing touchdowns with a pair of rushing touchdowns. He ran the ball eight times for 83 yards. Along with Powell, Jabre Lolley rushed seven times for 39 yards and a single touchdown. Although this team had its success rushing the ball, if the River Kings can put a stop to its air attack, they might be able to come out of this game victorious.
To catch the week 15 matchup between the Cedar Rapids River Kings and the Arizona Rattlers, you can visit the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, IA, or you can catch the game on the IFL’s YouTube Channel starting at 7:05pm CST.