Week 9: Arizona Rattlers (3-3) at Salt Lake Screaming Eagles (1-5)

Phoenix, Ariz. – The Arizona Rattlers (3-3) travel to Salt Lake City, Utah to take on the Screaming Eagles at the Maverik Center this Friday. Arizona is looking to capitalize on the momentum gained in their last victory against the Intense Conference leading Nebraska Danger (4-3). This marks the first time that either of these teams have faced each other.

The Rattlers enter the matchup just a game back from the top spot in the conference, while the Screaming Eagles will look to make up some ground in the playoff hunt. A win for the Rattlers keeps them within a game of first place, with the showdown against the conference leader next week looming large.

The Rattlers offense is starting to come together. Quarterback Cody Sokol in his second start earned the IFL Offensive Player of the Week after completing 17 of 30 passes for 165 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for 33 yards. Running backs Darrell Monroe and Ketrich Harmon combined for 52 yards on the ground. The two of them are now ranked first and fourth in the league in yards per game.

On special teams, kicker Sawyer Petre made three out of four field goals, including the game winner. Petre’s three field goals ties the most made in a game in team history.

Defensively, the Rattlers held Nebraska to only 149 total yards of offense. Only 85 of those yards were through the air, which put the Rattlers pass defense back to number one in the rankings, after going down to third following their loss to the Wichita Falls Nighthawks (6-1). Arizona, still has the top ranked tackler in the league, as far as tackles per game, in defensive back Adam Sauder. Sauder is averaging seven and a half. Teammate, defensive lineman, Chris McAllister has six and a half tackles for loss, this is good enough to be ranked third in the league.

Salt Lake City’s last game was against the Wichita Falls Nighthawks (6-1).  In it, quarterback Verlon Reed threw for 205 yards and completed 17 of 27 passes. Running back James Poole rushed nine times, logging 21 yards. Despite the loss, the Screaming Eagles defense allowed the Nighthawks only 214 total yards.

Defensively, Salt Lake City is only ranked two spots behind the Rattlers in pass defense. They rank third only allowing 127.2 yards per game. The Screaming Eagles secondary has been able to get their hands on the ball quite often through six games. Their secondary has recorded seven total interceptions which is tied for fourth in the league. Defensive back Don Unamba is tied for first in the league with four interceptions so far on the season.

The Rattlers will face the Screaming Eagles in West Valley City at 6:00 p.m. PDT. The game will be streamed on YouTube Live on a tablet, smartphone, or streaming device.

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