PHOENIX, ARIZ — For the third straight home game, the Rattlers stumbled out of the starting gate and found themselves behind early. However, not even a 21 – 0 first quarter deficit could prove to be too much for the AFL’s top team as the Rattlers pulled off a thrilling, miracle finish to shock the third-ranked Orlando Predators 48 – 47 on Saturday, April 2 at the US Airways Center. The come from behind victory gives Arizona its first 4 – 0 record since 1998.
With Orlando leading at halftime 27 – 12, the teams exchanged scores throughout the second half. Arizona closed the margin to make it a one score game on four separate occasions. Yet, the league’s top defense could not find the key stop it desperately needed against the Predators’ heralded offensive attack.
In the games’ waning moments, with Orlando leading 47 – 40, the Predators appeared to seal the victory when Predators QB Nick Hill found WR Robert Quiroga for 11 yards on fourth-and-five.
Three plays later, the miracle happened.
DB VIRGIL GRAY resuscitated the Rattlers chances to remain undefeated when he intercepted a tipped pass on Arizona’s own five yard line with only 27 seconds remaining.
On the next play, Rattlers QB NICK DAVILA found WR JUSTIN GEATHERS down the sideline for 31 yards. Two plays later Davila hooked up with Geathers again in the end zone with only eight seconds remaining. Trailing by one, GM/HEAD COACH KEVIN GUY put the game in the hands of his quarterback and Davila delivered. The lefty put two points on the board, sealing a Rattlers victory, when he found WR TRANDON HARVEY in the back of the end zone.
For the third time in four games, Harvey led all Rattlers receivers with nine receptions for 117 yards and four touchdowns. WR ROD WINDSOR turned in his best performance of the young season with nine receptions for 112 yards. Davila completed 25-of-39 passing attempts for 344 yards and six touchdowns, and once again showed the mental resolve of a veteran overcoming three early turnovers.
The defense was the beneficiary of some early mishandled snaps recovering two fumbles in the first half and eventually turning in the play of the game with Gray’s interception.
The Rattlers head into their bye week at 4 – 0 and will travel to Kansas City to take on the Command in the Sprint Center on April 16 at 5 p.m (AZ TIME).