SPORTS

First victory gives Cedar Rapids Titans jolt of confidence

Indoor Football League: Titans (1-5) follow win at Green Bay with game against undefeated Sioux Falls Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center

The Cedar Rapids Titans won their first game of the season April 1 at Green Bay. The team hosts the Sioux Falls Storm Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center.
The Cedar Rapids Titans won their first game of the season April 1 at Green Bay. The team hosts the Sioux Falls Storm Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center.
/

CEDAR RAPIDS — This time, the Cedar Rapids Titans rose up when the lights were on and the moment was large.

A string of late-game plays, including a touchdown run with less than a minute to go by tailback Jamuel Jones, gave Cedar Rapids its first victory of the season April 1 at Green Bay and provided a much-needed confidence boost throughout the roster.

“It was big, especially for tomorrow’s game and momentum,” said Jones, who will help the Titans (1-5) tangle with the Sioux Falls Storm (5-0) in an Indoor Football League game Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center. “Big win. Happy we got it.”

Last week, Cedar Rapids appeared destined for a sixth-straight loss to begin the season when the host Blizzard held a double-digit lead midway through the second quarter. Cedar Rapids quarterback Brion Carnes started the rally with a touchdown run and two scoring tosses.

With 1:22 to go in the game and the Titans trailing 37-33 with no timeouts, Jones fielded a swing pass from Carnes at the 24-yard line, cut inside, juked a defender to the ground at the 22, sprinted along the left wall and made a second defender miss with another cut at the eight before being tackled at the two.

“I’m an elusive guy, more of a finesse back,” said the 5-foot-9, 195-pound rookie from Kentucky Christian. “I make the plays when I need to and I’m good at making defenders miss in the open field.”

Jones’ number was called again on the next play, and his offensive line opened a cavernous hole that invited a two-yard TD and a 39-37 Titans’ lead. With long snapper Conner Hollenbeck ejected from the game, first-year Coach Marvin McNutt elected to try a two-point conversion, and Jones again converted.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“I made a mistake in the game earlier and I was thinking about it the whole time,” Jones said. “So I was thinking, ‘I’ve got to make up for that one.’ Made up for it, and we ended up pulling it out.”

A stout goal-line stand from the Cedar Rapids defense saved the game. A scramble by Green Bay quarterback Matt Behrendt gave the Blizzard 1st and goal from the 1-yard-line with 30 seconds left, but a stop behind the line of scrimmage by Cedar Rapids linebacker Curtis Thomas and three incomplete passes gave the Titans their first victory.

“It was a great confidence-booster for us,” Thomas said. “We love that. Our backs were against the wall … For us to make a stand like that, a goal-line stand, and come out with the victory, that did a lot for us going into tomorrow.”

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

CONTINUE READING

WHAT TO READ NEXT ...

Health care constantly evolves and shifts, in policy and practice. Iowa providers need to innovate to provide the best care. But you can't do that if you don't have enough doctors. Health care experts and policy makers have foun ...

President Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen on Wednesday told a federal judge that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself in a lawsuit brought by adult entertainer Stormy Daniels.Cohen's ...

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.