Phoenix, Ariz. – With the regular season in the rear view mirror, the back-to-back-to-back world champion Arizona Rattlers can now set their sights on the ultimate goal, a fourth straight ArenaBowl title. First, the Rattlers will have to get through the Spokane Shock.
The Rattlers are coming off of one of their best performances of the season against the Portland Thunder Saturday night, putting together a complete game, and scoring on all phases. On offense, quarterback Nick Davila, who earned the Russell Athletic Offensive player of the game returned to form, throwing for 5 touchdowns and completing just under 70% of his passes. Fullback Mykel Benson also had a strong showing, averaging 4.2 yards per rush and adding a touchdown on the ground.
The Rattlers defensive line was relentless Saturday night. Portland quarterback Kyle Rowley was sacked three times, once by Tyre Glasper, which ended up being a safety, and twice by Michael McAdoo, who was the Riddell Defensive Player of the Game. Rowley was also hurried three times, and threw a pick to defensive back Jeremy Kellem. Kellem ended the 2015 season leading the league in interceptions with 14.
The Rattlers also had a big night on special teams. Kicker Alex Zendejas filled in for the injured Fabrizio Scaccia, and was a perfect 9-9 on point after attempts. Arkeith Brown had the AFL Highlight of the game with his kickoff return in the 1st quarter. Michael McAdoo also showed up on special teams when he blocked a Portland extra point attempt and returned it for two points.
Spokane is coming off of a big win in Las Vegas. The Shock, tied with the Outlaws with less than a minute to go in the half, earned a safety when defensive end James Ruffin sacked Outlaw quarterback Sean Brackett in their own end zone. On Spokane’s next play, quarterback Arvell Nelson threw a 35 yard pass to wide receiver Jabin Sambrano for another touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, linebacker Kevin McCullough recovered a fumble at the 1 and returned it for another touchdown. After a wild end to the half, the Shock led the Outlaws by 16. Spokane would hold on and win 51-34.
After starting the season 3-8, The Shock have now won three of their last four games, and are playing better than they have all season.
The Rattlers and the Shock have played three times this season, the Rattlers having won two. Overall, Arizona has only lost to the Shock once in the Snake Pit, which was back in 2010. This season, Arizona’s margin of victory over Spokane is 14.5, while their lone defeat was by 7.
The Conference Semi-final game takes place this Saturday, August 15th at 6:00 pm PDT, and will be held at the US Airways Center in Phoenix. The match-up will be televised on FOX Sports Arizona Plus, and can be streamed online at ESPN3.com or on the WatchESPN app on a tablet or smartphone.
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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 11th, 2015
Contact: Peter Garbow, (989) 395-3789, firstname.lastname@example.org
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