Phoenix, Ariz. – The Arizona Rattlers suffered their second loss of the season to the San Jose Sabercats at the US Airways Center Saturday night by a score of 56-34.
A few streaks ended Saturday night. The 2014 MVP and Rattlers quarterback Nick Davila had a streak of 106 straight games played. It would not extend to 107 as quarterback BJ Coleman got the start. Davila was placed on injured reserve Thursday afternoon. The Rattlers 15-game home win streak was also snapped Saturday night.
San Jose did not come out of the game unscathed. The SaberCats suffered a loss at quarterback when halfway through the 3rd quarter; Erik Meyer went down after being hit by defensive tackle Anttaj Hawthorne. He stayed down for several minutes until he was finally taken off the field via stretcher.
Special teams were a bright spot for Arizona, especially with kick returns, as defensive back AJ Cruz had 189 yards on 7 attempts (27 yards per attempt average) and 1 touchdown.
Coleman had a tough night. He threw for 191 yards, and 3 touchdowns, but had 3 interceptions and was sacked twice.
Defensive end Cliff Dukes also got his first sack of the season which propelled him past Robert Stewart for tenth place all-time in career sacks.
The game started fast. San Jose quarterback Erik Meyer’s first pass was completed to wide receiver DJ Stevens for a 33-yard touchdown. This was followed up by back-to-back kickoffs returned for touchdowns. The first was by AJ Cruz, his second of the season. The second was by SaberCats defensive back Reggie Gray.
The Rattlers kept the game close in the first half, and with the first drive of the second half, tied the game at 34 all with a 1 yard run by fullback Mykel Benson. That was the last time the Rattlers reached the endzone.
The SaberCats took the lead again with a touchdown pass from Meyers to wide receiver Reggie Gray. The Rattlers next drive ended with Coleman being sacked by linebacker Francis Maka for a safety.
SaberCats quarterback Nathan Stanley threw for two more touchdowns in the 4th quarter, to end the game.
The Rattlers’ next game will be next Saturday, May 9th at 5:00 PM when they visit the New Orleans Voodoo (2-4), who beat the Spokane Shock Saturday night. This will be Arizona’s first meeting with the Voodoo since 2013.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Erik Meyer (SJ)
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Ken Fontenette (SJ)
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: Reggie Gray (SJ)
Cutters Catch of the Game: Markee White (AZ) 35 yrd TD catch in 2nd QTR.
AFL Highlight of the Game: AJ Cruz (AZ) 57 yard kick off return 1st QT 13:46.
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: May 2nd, 2015
Contact: Peter Garbow, (989) 395-3789, firstname.lastname@example.org
We are saddened to hear of the passing of a former Arizona Rattler, WR #3 Maurice Bryant. Thoughts and prayers go o… https://t.co/abYgWJAJP8