BLOOMINGTON - For three games, everything that could possibly go wrong for the Bloomington Extreme did, causing a bitter taste to circulate throughout the team. | Photo gallery
Saturday night ended that frustration.
Behind a dominant defensive effort and precision passing by Dusty Burk, the Extreme ended their three-game losing streak with a convincing 40-15 United Indoor Football victory over the Colorado Ice in front of 5,569 fans at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
The 15 points allowed tied a franchise record that was set on May 13, 2006, against Peoria.
"We've been pretty frustrated the last few weeks," Burk said. "We had to get that bitter taste out of our mouth."
It didn't take long for the taste to leave.
Bloomington (6-6) scored on its first four possessions of the game to build a 23-10 halftime lead. In the first half alone, Burk completed 13-of-15 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Burk completed his first eight attempts of the game and only had consecutive incompletions once.
"He was just so smart with the possessions," Schmitz said of Burk. "He didn't get impatient. He took what they gave him."
Burk finished with five total touchdowns (three passing and two running), completed 19-of-24 passes, threw no interceptions and had a team-high 32 rushing yards.
"I think my line did an awesome job tonight," said Burk, who was not sacked once. "We had the running game going a little better than usual and we fed off that."
A defensive unit which was last in the 11-team UIF in total defense allowed just 151 total yards, 108 less than their season average. The Extreme allowed only 11 first downs - six in the first half - and three total points over the final 30 minutes.
"It was awesome," Burk said of the defense. "They made the game easy for us."
Colorado's only touchdown of the game came with nine seconds remaining in the first half when Mike Jones caught an eight-yard touchdown from quarterback Matt Guitterrez.
The Ice's longest play went for 17 yards and its longest pass completion was 17 yards.
Meanwhile, Bloomington received big plays from Glenn Johnson, who caught a game-high eight passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns. James Walton added another touchdown when he caught a 29-yard pass from Burk in the second quarter. Peter Christofilakos kicked two field goals.
The Extreme finished with 269 total yards of offense and never trailed. Bloomington committed no turnovers and converted six-of-eight third down opportunities.
Bloomington travels to Omaha, Neb., next Saturday to face the Beef, a team it defeated 56-44 on April 28. The win, coupled with Evansville's 46-30 victory over Sioux City, keep Bloomington's lead at two games for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division. The win was the Extreme's first since a 54-47 overtime victory at Rock River on May 25.
"They responded to that challenge," Schmitz said. "We had to have (this game)."