The Arizona Rattlers (11-4) will be headed to Fort Collins, Colorado this Friday to take on the Colorado Crush (3-12). This is the 18th and final week of the IFL regular season, and the Rattlers will look to finish it on an eight game win streak.
Arizona comes into the home stretch still as the only team in the league to have clinched a playoff spot. They are waiting for either the Spokane Empire (8-7) or the Nebraska Danger (8-7) to take the second spot in the conference. The Danger will do so with either a win over Wichita Falls, or a Spokane loss. On the other side, the Wichita Falls Nighthawks (12-3) can clinch the number two spot with a win, and the winner of the Iowa Barnstormers (13-2) and the Sioux Falls Storm (13-2) will take the top spot, and other will be out of the playoffs. If the Nighthawks lose than both the Barnstormers and the Storm are in.
This will be the Rattlers second time this year going up against the Crush. In the first matchup, Arizona was able to cruise to a 71-27 victory in front of their home crowd. The Rattlers were able to find much success on the ground in their week four game. They totaled for 151 yards on the ground, and their rushing leader Darrell Monroe, went for 93 yards and a touchdown. Colorado also found some success in the run game that week. The Crush rushed for 135 yards, and their quarterback Aaron Aiken led the way with 70 yards and a touchdown.
As Arizona increased their win streak to seven last week, their defense continued to show they are a force to be reckoned with. They held the Cedar Rapids Titans (1-15) to only 25 points. This was the second week in a row they held the opposing team to under 30 points, and still have not let a team score over 35 since week 10. They are now tied for first in total sacks with 26, after recording another three on Sunday. They also had two interceptions against the Titans, which gives them 13 as a team on the season.
The Crush offensively have relied more on the pass this season than the run. They have the fifth ranked passing offense in the league, and have totaled for 2,048 yards and 51 touchdowns through the air thus far. Wide out Kyle Kaiser has been his quarterbacks’ favorite target this season. He has racked up 677 yards and 21 touchdowns.
The Rattlers continued to show dominance running the football last week versus Cedar Rapids. They rushed for 178 yards as a team, and running back Ketrich Harmon led the team with 73 yards and three touchdowns. The Rattlers still have the second ranked rushing offense in the league. They are only 11 yards shy of 1700 as a team, and only three touchdowns shy of 50 as they enter week 18 of the regular season.
The game will be on Friday, June 16th at 6:00 p.m. PDT at the Budweiser Events Center. The game will be streamed live on YouTube.