Phoenix, Ariz. – Saturday’s match-up between the Arizona Rattlers and the Cleveland Gladiators is all about one thing: Retribution.
The Rattlers are coming off their first loss of the season, which they suffered against the Las Vegas Outlaws, an expansion team. This looks to be the biggest upset of the young season which was a result of poor special teams play, dropped passes, an absence of a pass rush, and an uninspired red-zone offense.
There were some bright spots, however. Newly acquired defensive back AJ Cruz ran two kickoff returns for touchdowns (one was called back), and showed a lot of promise at Jack Linebacker. Fullback Mykel Benson also showed why he earned All-Arena honors last season with 2 catches for 29 yards, and a 29 yard touchdown run, the longest run for a Rattler since 2008.
Cleveland (2-0) is once again starting the season hot. They have won their first two games, and lead the league in both scoring offense (130) and point differential (+44).
Unfortunately for Cleveland, the last time they were this hot, they ran into the Arizona Rattlers at ArenaBowl XXVII, where the Rattlers defeated the Gladiators by 40 points (72-32), the largest margin of victory in the history of the ArenaBowl. This happened in front of over 18,000 Cleveland fans.
Both teams will go into Saturday’s game with retribution in mind, but only one team will earn it.
The Arizona Rattlers (1-1) will travel to Cleveland to take on the Gladiators (2-0) this Saturday, April 11th at 4:00 p.m. at the Quicken Loans Arena. This will be the first time the Rattlers will face the Gladiators since Arizona’s 72-32 victory at ArenaBowl XXVII. The game can be watched online at ESPN3 or on the WatchESPN app on your tablet or smartphone.
About the Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers have won three straight 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.
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