Phoenix, Ariz. – The Arizona Rattlers (2-1) look to improve to 3-1 on the season when it hosts the Portland Thunder (2-1) at the US Airways Center on Saturday, April 18th.
The Rattlers’ offense seemed to turn a corner last week against Cleveland (2-1) with the return of star wide receivers Rod Windsor and Kerry Reed. Reed and Windsor accounted for a combined 265 yards receiving, and all 7 touchdowns scored by Arizona.
The Rattlers’ defense also looked better, specifically the defensive backs. Arkeith Brown got the ball rolling with an interception in the 1st quarter. Jeremy Kellem kept it going with an interception in the 2nd, and the game ending interception in the 4th.
Arizona may have taken a significant step forward last Saturday, but there is still a lot of work to do. The biggest question mark is on special teams. Defensive back AJ Cruz provides a dynamic threat on kick return, however, the kicking game remains a question mark with kicker Jeremy Shelley being released after another missed field goal on Saturday. The Rattlers will attempt to remedy this by bringing back a familiar face in kicker Fabrizio Scaccia. Scaccia played for the Rattlers from 2010-11 and holds the franchise record for longest field goal (57 yards).
Portland meanwhile, is off to its best start in team history. Last week, the Thunder, led by quarterback Kyle Rowley, came back from a 9-point first half deficit to beat its division rival Spokane Shock which put them at 2-1 on the season. This was the Thunder’s first victory over the Shock since the team’s founding in 2014.
Portland will look to get over another hurdle on Saturday. Portland faced Arizona 4 times last season, and dispite playing them in several tight games, they came up short all 4 times.
The Arizona Rattlers return home to take on the Portland Thunder this Saturday, April 18th at 6:00 p.m. at the US Airways Center. For additional information please visit www.azrattlers.com.
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.