HOW THE WEST WAS WON
Arizona defeats New Orleans 79-42 to win the West Division
Phoenix, AZ – The Arizona Rattlers (14-2) notched their third consecutive West Division Championship with a 79-42 victory over the New Orleans VooDoo (5-11) on Saturday night on Ak-Chin Field at the US Airways Center in front of 9,958 fans.
Virgil Gray fueled the Rattlers good start in the first quarter with an interception on the first VooDoo offensive play of the game and a pass breakup on fourth down later in the quarter. Odie Armstrong and Rod Windsor would flip the turnovers into points for a quick 14-point lead. Payne got the VooDoo on the scoreboard with a receiving touchdown at the end of the first quarter to make it 14-7.
Tysson Poots regained the Rattlers 14-point edge with a touchdown grab in the back of the end zone early in the second quarter. Dixon would answer with a rush touchdown for New Orleans. From there the Rattlers seized control of the game with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Purify, a Jeremy Kellem interception, and Armstrong’s second rushing touchdown of the game taking a 35-14 advantage.
A 33-yard catch by Payne and touchdown reception by Courtney Smith would snap New Orleans’ skid. Kerry Reed joined the Rattlers’ scoring party as Davila continued to rack up touchdown throws to different receivers. Larry Beavers reeled in another VooDoo score with just ten seconds left in the half but the Rattlers answered with a 47-yard field goal from Garrett Lindholm to make the score 45 to 28 at half.
After exchanging touchdowns to begin the second half, James Bryant received a VooDoo onside kick to give Dixon an extra possession. But that was stifled by another Gray interception. Arizona took full advantage of the turnover as Davila connected with Windsor for another score.
Purify continued the Rattlers’ scoring barrage with two long touchdown receptions from Davila and Jason Murietta. Gray would end Dixon’s night with his third interception of the game as New Orleans turned to Bill Stull at quarterback. Stull and Murietta then exchanged touchdown throws over 40 yards to Payne and Reed to end the game at 79-42.
Nick Davila went 14-of-18 for 214 yards, seven touchdowns and added a 16-yard rush. Maurice Purify had five receptions for 102 yards and three touchdowns. For the VooDoo, Chris Dixon would finish the game 20-of-39 for 238 yards with three passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. Quorey Payne reeled in eight passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns.
It was a record-breaking night as one-by-one franchise and League records fell. With their 37-point win, Arizona set the AFL record for most double digit wins in a season at 12. Gray broke the single-season franchise record of 10 interceptions; his three on the night put him at 12 for the season. Lindholm broke Kenny Spencer’s single-season League record of 138 successful PATs with number 139. Armstrong moved into ninth on the career rushing touchdown list when he notched hi 71st.
The Rattlers, who secured home field advantage in the playoffs, have two regular season games left including one at home against Chicago next Saturday, July 20. The team will celebrate Throwback Night which will include appearances by former players and Sidewinders as well as throwback uniforms, games, contests and more.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Arizona Rattlers QB Nick Davila
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Arizona Rattlers DB Virgil Gray
J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME
Arizona Rattlers DB Arkeith Brown
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME
Rod Windsor 28-yard touchdown catch from Nick Davila with 12:38 left in the 3rd quarter
AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
Virgil Gray’s 3 interceptions
About the Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers are the 2012 ArenaBowl XXV World Champions and are proud members of theArena Football League (AFL). ArenaBowl XXV marked the Rattlers seventh appearance in the AFL Championship Game where they have earned Arena Bowl titles in 1994, 1997 and 2012.
For ticket information please call (602) 514-TDTD (8383) or visit www.azrattlers.com.
BUBBA PICKS IT OFF! Rattlers ball with less than a minute remaining. #StrikeAsOne
BIG PLAY BY JUSTIN MARTIN! Rattlers recover a Green Bay fumble and take back the ball with just over 3 minutes to play
Coach Guy challenges the ruling on the field of offensive pass interference and wins! 3:46 left to play. Blizzard b… https://t.co/KAycy9URB1
Sawyer Petre nails a field goal to make it 37-31 Rattlers. 5:29 left to play. We got a close one! #StrikeAsOne