Phoenix, Ariz. – The five time World Champion Arizona Rattlers (1-0) began the regular season with a victory over the Portland Steel (0-1) Friday night at the Moda Center in Portland Oregon by a score of 80-28 in front of 6,782 fans.
The Arizona Rattlers started fast, and physically dominated the game for all four quarters. The Rattlers offense, led by quarterback Nick Davila scored on nine of the ten drives they had in the game. The Arizona defense pitched in as well, adding three more scores. Defensive back Arkeith Brown and wide receiver/linebacker Kerry Reed each with a pick six, and defensive lineman Damien Borel returned a fumble for a touchdown.
“Our defense was playing really good,” General Manager and Head Coach Kevin Guy said, “and our offense was really efficient tonight. We only got stopped once. It was a great team effort.”
The Rattlers’ secondary led by Arkeith Brown, came in as one of the biggest question marks of the night, but left looking like it did not miss a step. Brown, on the Steel’s second drive of the game, picked off quarterback Danny Southwick, and took it to the house.
“Arkeith (Brown) has been a great player for us for years,” Guy said. “You also have to give a lot of credit to the guys up front for providing the pressure, which allowed us to get our hands on some balls.”
Davila, the Under Armour Offensive Player of the game, and wide receiver Rod Windsor, the Riddell Defensive player of the game, did not seem to miss a step. They connected seven times for 84 yards and four touchdowns. Davila finished the night 10 of 16 for 124 yards and five touchdowns.
The first quarter began with the Steel scoring on the second play from scrimmage, with a 38 yard pass from Southwick to wide receiver, Nick Truesdell for the touchdown. Truesdell appeared to be injured during the play and did not return.
The Rattlers responded with a touchdown pass from Davila to Windsor to cut the lead to one. Brown doubled the score with his interception on the ensuing drive.
The rest of the game was all Rattlers. Defensive lineman Damien Borel recovered a fumble and returned it for 6 in the second, putting Arizona up 32-14.
The third quarter began with a screen pass from Davila to fullback Mykel Benson, making the score 53-21.
Steel quarterback Kasey Peters came in to replace Southwick in the 4th, and on his first drive, threw a perfect pass to wide receiver Tom Gilson, however, this was the last time the Steel would score.
The Rattlers added two more touchdowns on the ground by Benson, who ended the game with four total touchdowns; three rushing and one from the air.
The Rattlers’ next opponent will be the Los Angeles KISS. The game will take place next Saturday, April 9th, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Cali. at 8:00 p.m. PDT. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN 2, and streamed online on ESPN3.com or the WatchESPN app on a tablet or smartphone.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
Arizona 19 27 14 20 80
Portland 7 14 0 7 28
Under Armour Offensive Player of the Game: Nick Davila (AZ)
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Damien Borel (AZ)
Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: Rod Windsor (AZ)
Cutters Catch of the Game: Rod Windsor (AZ)
AFL Highlight of the Game: Arkeith Brown (AZ) Interception returned for a touchdown in the 1st Q
About the Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers have won five ArenaBowl championship games and are proud members of the Arena Football League (AFL). ArenaBowl XXVII marked the team’s ninth appearance in the Championship game, winning in 2014, 2013, 2012, 1997 and 1994. For tickets, call 602-514-TDTD (8383), or visit www.azrattlers.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1st, 2016
Contact: Peter Garbow, (989) 395-3789, firstname.lastname@example.org