Story by Douglas Miles/ The Gazette
CEDAR RAPIDS — For a quarterback in the Indoor Football League, the narrow passing lanes and condensed playing field can be a recipe for turnovers.
The Cedar Rapids Titans have a man under center known for taking care of the ball.
"I work hard on not having any turnovers," first-year Cedar Rapids quarterback Jake Medlock said before the Titans (1-1) defeated the Green Bay Blizzard, 47-39, in Cedar Rapids' IFL home opener Friday night at the U.S. Cellular Center. "I've been like that my whole entire career. I'm always going to take care of the ball and score as many points as possible. It's all about connection with your receivers and running backs. When it's not there, just throw it away. You take care of the ball, you're going to win the game in this type of game that we play."
Medlock, 25, threw for 223 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for 13 yards and a score.
Medlock played collegiately at Florida International from 2011-13, where he was tossing TD passes to current Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton. After a coaching change, Medlock exhausted his collegiate eligibility at Division-II Valdosta State (Ga.). His professional stops included a year in the German Football League and a Canadian Football League stint with Montreal.
"I was done after I got released by Montreal," Medlock said. "I was done. I was, 'You know what, it's time for me to get my stuff together, grow up and work.'"
A call from the Wichita Force of the Champions Indoor Football League convinced Medlock to put the pads on again. In 12 games last season, Medlock threw for 2,052 yards, 43 TDs and just seven interceptions.
"It definitely lit the spark again," Medlock said. "I had a great year. I was very blessed to have so many veteran people around me to teach me."
When former UNI quarterback Brion Carnes elected to turn his attention to coaching after a productive 2017 season in Cedar Rapids, the Titans aggressively pursued Medlock.
"He's a guy that puts a lot on himself," first-year Cedar Rapids Coach Marvin Jones said. "He's one of those guys that puts the team on his shoulders. … He's tough. He's a tough guy. He likes challenges. … He takes that stuff head-on. You want a guy like that."
Cedar Rapids tailback Tyler Thomas ran for two scores and caught a 32-yard TD pass from Medlock on the final play of the third quarter that gave the Titans the lead for good.
Receiver Connor Hollenbeck led Cedar Rapids with six receptions for 99 yards, while Javin Bell added five for 72. Both caught a TD.
Linebacker Moses White posted 12 tackles for the Cedar Rapids defense, which held Green Bay (0-2) scoreless over the final quarter.