Minor League Sports

Cedar Rapids River Kings fall flat in first meeting with Quad City Steamwheelers

River Kings allow TDs on 7 of first 8 possessions

CEDAR RAPIDS — The offense stalled, the kicks were wide and the defense leaked.

In their first meeting with the Quad City Steamwheelers, not a lot went right for the Cedar Rapids River Kings.

“We never got in sync on offense,” Cedar Rapids Coach Mark Stoute said after the River Kings lost 58-36 in an Indoor Football League game in front of 1,199 fans Friday night at the U.S. Cellular Center. “At halftime, I questioned where our minds were as far as executing. Last week, we executed great and tonight, we just were not executing. There are a lot of little mental errors and breakdowns.”

Cedar Rapids (1-3) could not sustain the momentum from its first win last Saturday against San Diego and was in an uphill battle after settling for field-goal attempts on four first-half possessions, converting just two. The Steamwheelers flipped a 13-10 deficit in the second quarter with a 41-16 explosion via touchdowns on seven of their first eight possessions, highlighted by six total scores from receiver Quinton Pedroza, including two on the ground.

“Defense sort of feeds off of us,” Stoute said. “They sputtered a little bit tonight, too. But again, if we match score for score when the game first started, it gives the defense some life. If you just let them keep going out there, going out there, then it wears them down just as much. It is as much on the offense as it is on the defense.”

Quad City (2-1) moved to the IFL this season after a one-year stint in the Champions Indoor Football league. From 2000-09, it was a member of af2, a developmental offshoot of the Arena Football League. The two teams had some familiarity before Friday as they scrimmaged against each other in the preseason.

Quad City quarterback E.J. Hilliard finished with 147 passing yards and six TDs without a turnover. Cedar Rapids receiver Marquel Wade caught five passes for 83 yards and scored three total TDs. Former Cedar Rapids Prairie and Coe College receiver Demetrius Harper caught his first career IFL TD with a late 12-yard score.

Former all-IFL defensive back Ricky Johnson left the game due to injury for Cedar Rapids.

The River Kings are off next week, then they host the defending IFL champion Iowa Barnstormers on March 30 before playing five of six games on the road.

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“We’ve got to take a hard look at our team and start looking at the possibility of getting some players in,” Stoute said. “Might have lost Ricky Johnson, so we’ve got to take a look at that situation and we’ve got to make some adjustments to our roster.”

Indoor football

AT U.S. CELLULAR CENTER

Quad City Steamwheelers 58, Cedar Rapids River Kings 36

Quad City 10 21 20 7—58

Cedar Rapids 10 9 10 7—36

CR — FG Henry Nell 23

QC — Quinton Pedroza 4 run (Kenneth Rowe kick)

CR — Marquel Wade 43 pass from Kurt Palandech (Henry Nell kick)

QC — FG Kenneth Rowe 29

CR — FG Henry Nell 22

QC — Quinton Pedroza 13 pass from E.J. Hilliard (Kenneth Rowe kick)

QC — Quinton Pedroza 12 pass from E.J. Hilliard (Kenneth Rowe kick)

CR — Marquel Wade 3 run (kick failed)

QC — Keyvan Rudd 15 pass from E.J. Hilliard (Kenneth Rowe kick)

QC — Quinton Pedroza 11 pass from E.J. Hilliard (K.J. Jenkins return of blocked kick)

QC — Quinton Pedroza 9 run (Kenneth Rowe kick)

CR — Marquel Wade 19 pass from Kurt Palandech (Kalif Phillips run)

QC — Quinton Pedroza 35 pass from E.J. Hilliard (Kenneth Rowe kick)

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CR — Demetrius Harper 12 pass from Ben Wilkerson (Henry Nell kick)

RUSHING — Quad City: Juwan Lewis 5-42, Dillon Turner 8-38, E.J. Hilliard 4-30, Quinton Pedroza 3-21, Keyvan Rudd 1-10, Darius Hicks 1-3; Cedar Rapids: Kalif Phillips 10-24, Nate Chavious 6-15, Ben Wilkerson 2-9, Kurt Palandech 3-9, Marquel Wade 1-3.

PASSING — Quad City: E.J. Hilliard 12-19-0-147; Cedar Rapids: Kurt Palandech 8-15-0-104, Ben Wilkerson 1-1-0-12.

RECEIVING — Quad City: Quinton Pedroza 6-105, Keyvon Rudd 3-22, Dillon Turner 2-18, Carlos Wiggins 1-2; Cedar Rapids: Marquel Wade 5-83, Demetrius Harper 3-27, Jordan Smith 1-6.

A — 1,199.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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