Spokane, Wash. – The World Champion Arizona Rattlers do not have too many losing streaks, and after Saturday’s win against the Shock in Spokane, they have one less. Going into Spokane, the Rattlers were 1-5 in Washington, with that single win coming in 2012.
The Rattlers came into the game down another quarterback when Arizona got sudden word this week that quarterback BJ Coleman quit the team. With reigning MVP quarterback Nick Davila still on Injured Reserve, first time Rattlers’ quarterback Shane Boyd took over the team, and had no trouble spreading the ball around, throwing 7 touchdowns to four different receivers earning him the Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game.
Wide receiver Markee White led all Rattlers’ receivers with 3 touchdown passes, including a one-handed fingertip touchdown grab that earned him the Cutters Catch of the game.
Arizona’s fullback Mykel Benson had another big game, running for 19 yards on 5 carries, and had 2 touchdowns, one on the ground and one in the air.
Arizona’s defense also stepped up in a big way Saturday night. Linebacker and return specialist AJ Cruz was all over the field with 10.5 tackles and a tipped pass to go along with his 50 kick return yards. Defensive tackle Anttaj Hawthorne added another sack in the first. Defensive back Jeremy Kellem caught his seventh interception late in the 4th quarter which essentially ended the game. Kellem’s interception, along with his team leading 11 tackles earned him the Riddell Defensive Player of the Game.
Defensive back Marquis Floyd also had a big night, intercepting a pass from Spokane quarterback Warren Smith and returning it 17 yards. This interception tied him with Los Angeles KISS defensive back Rayshaun Kizer for third all-time with 57 career picks.
Spokane’s Smith had a strong night in a losing effort, throwing for 319 yards and running for 42 more. He also threw for 6 touchdowns and ran in for another touchdown, which was the AFL Highlight of the Game. He did, however, have two big interceptions that proved to be costly.
The Rattlers’ next game will be at 6:00 p.m. next Saturday (June 6th) when they return home to face the Tampa Bay Storm (4-5). The two teams have not faced each other since 2010. The game will be televised on FOX Sports Arizona and streamed online at ESPN3.com or the WatchESPN app on a tablet or smartphone.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
Arizona 14 20 0 25 59
Spokane 6 14 14 13 47
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: QB Shane Boyd (AZ)
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: DB Jeremy Kellem (AZ)
Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: WR Samuel Charles (SPO)
Cutters Catch of the Game: WR Markee White (AZ) 30-yard fingertip TD reception in Q1
AFL Highlight of the Game: QB Warren Smith (SPO) 25-yard TD run to open Q3
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 30th, 2015
Contact: Peter Garbow, (989) 395-3789, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: Zach Edwards
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