TULSA, OKLA. – The Arizona Rattlers (15-2) remain in the top spot of the Week 18 Coaches’ Poll, receiving 16 first place votes following their 68-34 victory over the Pittsburgh Power (8-8). Arizona earned its eighth consecutive victory with their last loss coming from the Chicago Rush (12-4) in Week 10. Veteran quarterback Nick Davila completed 22-of-35 passes for 214 yards and eight touchdowns in the win. The Rattlers have a bye this week before heading to Dallas (11-5) on Saturday, July 23 at 8:30 p.m. EST.
The Jacksonville Sharks (13-3) earned two first place votes and remained in second place following a narrow loss, 70-75, to the Dallas Vigilantes. Quarterback Aaron Garcia threw for 275-yards and seven touchdowns but recorded three interceptions, his single game high in 2011. The Sharks have lost back-to-back games after setting an AFL-record with 13 straight victories. Jacksonville will face the Kansas City Command (5-11) on Friday, July 15 at 8:30 p.m. EST.
Chicago remains in third place, following a 51-41 road victory over the Georgia Force (9-7). Linebacker Kelvin Morris earned Defensive Player of the Week honors after posting two interceptions, returning one 37-yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Morris also recorded a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the first quarter. The Rush have an important Central Division matchup at Dallas on Saturday, July 16 at 8:30 p.m. EST. Chicago will secure the Central Division title with a victory over Dallas.
The Vigilantes settled in the fourth spot of the Poll after defeating second-ranked Jacksonville. The Vigilantes have won five consecutive games, their longest streak of the season. Their final two games will be at home.
The Orlando Predators (9-7) climbed to the fifth spot of the Poll after their 40-60 loss to the San Jose SaberCats (7-9). The Predators have lost four out of their last five games. Orlando can clinch a playoff berth with a win in Week 19 and a loss by Pittsburgh. Orlando will face the Tulsa Talons (7-9) on Saturday, July 16 at 8:00 p.m. EST.
The Georgia Force (9-7) moved to sixth in the Poll after their home loss to the Chicago Rush, 41-51. The Force currently holds the third spot in the American Conference playoffs. The team looks to bounce back against the Tampa Bay Storm (6-10) on Saturday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m. EST. The Cleveland Gladiators (9-7) also stayed put in the Poll following their 21-49 loss to the Philadelphia Soul (6-11). The Gladiators currently own a one-game lead over the Power in the East Division. The Gladiators host the Power in “Arena Football Friday” on NFL Network. Cleveland will secure the East Division with a win in Week 19.Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. EST.
The Spokane Shock (8-8) jumped up two spots in the Poll, following their 76-49 win over the Utah Blaze (7-9). The team has won four out of their last five games. San Jose moved to No. 9 in the Poll after a home victory over the Orlando Predators on Saturday night. The two teams meet in Week 19 in an important West Division matchup. The game is scheduled for Saturday, July 16 at 10:00 p.m. EST.
About the AFL
Since its inception in 1987, the AFL has provided the fast-paced and exciting game of Arena Football to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The NFL Network will once again broadcast an AFL National Game of the Week for the entire regular and post season on Friday nights at 8:00 pm EST, culminating with the ArenaBowl Championship Game on August 12.