Plainsmen lose close game to tall and beefy Iowa Stars
The Kansas Plainsmen lost 20-6 to the Iowa Stars Saturday night in the team's second game of the year, after a dazzling display of speed wasn't enough to match the huge size of the Stars.
The offensive line for the Stars weighed 1,625 pounds, with each of the five men coming in at more than 300 pounds.
"Basically, it was speed against size," Coach John Howell said.
Howell said his defense did superbly, especially cornerbacks John Holland and Charles Smiley, who blanketed the wide receivers and allowed them only one catch the entire game.
"We were flying," Howell said. "We absolutely shut them down."
The Stars were then forced to the ground, and, after another night in which Plainsmen receivers had problems, the Kansas team was mostly confined to the running game, too.
"I can't fault the team," Howell said. "They stuck to the plan but just fell short on the execution."
Howell said that even with his team's seven dropped passes and its inefficiency in running the ball against defenders almost as big as the offensive linemen, the Plainsmen stayed in the game the whole way.
In fact, the score would have been 13-6, but the Stars scored a touchdown in the closing seconds of the game.
With the Plainsmen offense struggling to find some coherence, the defense stepped up to keep the game close.
The game was scoreless through the first quarter, and though cold in the first quarter, the offense came out charging early in the second.
That was when Quarterback Shawn McBrayer found receiver Herb Martin for a 30-yard gain.
McBrayer followed with a short pass to Martin Wood, which he ran 20 yards up the sideline to the Stars' four-yard line.
But the drive was abruptly broken up three plays later when a McBrayer end zone pass was intercepted.
The score remained knotted at zeros until late in the half.
The first score of the game came 30 seconds before halftime, when the Stars recovered a bobbled Plainsmen fair catch 25 yards out and punched it in for a quick score.
The Stars added to their lead, scoring again in the third quarter to go up 13-0.
The fourth quarter saw the Plainsmen get their only score of the game when McBrayer hit Martin on a slant pattern up the middle for a 12-yard touchdown pass.
Howell said that the effort was there but that the team fell short in execution.
"It was a war," said Howell. "It was one of the best efforts the team has given in the last few seasons."
The Plainsmen next play the Nebraska Trailblazers at 7 p.m. Saturday at McLouth.
They play the Iowa Stars again July 29.
"It'll be another war," Howell said.