First undefeated regular season in franchise’s 27-year history
PHOENIX – The six-time World Champion Arizona Rattlers (14-0) completed their first undefeated regular season in franchise history on Saturday, defeating the San Diego Strike Force (1-13) in front of 14,036 fans at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
In addition to finishing the 2019 Indoor Football League (IFL) regular season undefeated, the Rattlers will have home field throughout the playoffs. Head Coach and General Manager Kevin Guy credited the work of the entire organization, especially the players.
“They’re the ones who got it done on the field so I’m very proud of the players,” Guy said. “We still got two more to go but we’re proud that it’s coming through the desert.”
QB Drew Powell was 12-of-16 passing for 151 yards and two touchdowns, and also rushed for two touchdowns.
“It’s a whole new season we get to start. We get to go attack it and we get to start fresh,” Powell said about playing in the postseason.
RB Roland Genesy Jr. led the rushing attack for Arizona, carrying the ball 13 times for 100 yards and a touchdown.
San Diego QB Jihad Vercher was 11-for-28 passing for 93 yards and two touchdowns. RB Dominique Carson had 61 rushing yards, and WR Marques Rodgers and WR David Carter each caught a touchdown for the Strike Force.
Defensively, Rattlers DL Connor Flagel had two sacks and three tackles for loss, while DB Dillion Winfrey had five solo tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
DB Omar Cook led the Strike Force with eight solo tackles, while Rodgers and DB E.J. Johnson each had a fumble recovery.
After holding the Strike Force to a missed field goal by K Ernesto Lacayo on the first possession, the Rattlers opened the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Powell to WR/RB Jamal Miles. K Jimmy Camacho kicked the extra point to make it 7-0 Rattlers.
Following another San Diego missed field goal attempt, Arizona drove 45 yards down the field and capped it off with a 13-yard touchdown run by Powell to extend the lead.
The Strike Force got on the board with 6:30 left in the second quarter on a successful 28-yard field goal try by Lacayo.
The Rattlers increased their lead to 21-3 as Powell scored on a 1-yard keeper.
On the ensuing kickoff, Arizona went for an onside kick and successfully recovered the ball. The first play on the following drive resulted in a 38-yard touchdown pass from Powell to WR Anthony Amos.
The Rattlers started the second half with the ball and added seven more points to the lead on a 6-yard carry by Genesy.
The Strike Force got their first touchdown on a 24-yard completion from Vercher to Carter, making the score 35-9 Rattlers.
QB Jeff Ziemba entered the game and completed a 36-yard touchdown pass to Amos. The extra point attempt by Camacho was blocked but WR Jarrod Harrington recovered the football and rushed into the end zone for a two-point conversion.
Miles scored again, this time on an 8-yard run, to increase the Rattlers lead to 50-9.
San Diego answered with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Vercher to Rodgers.
Miles returned the ensuing kickoff 54 yards for a touchdown to restore the lead to 41.
The Arizona Rattlers have a bye in the first round of the playoffs and will return to action on Saturday, June 29 for the Intense Conference Championship game at Gila River Arena in Glendale. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. AZT and the game will be live on YouTube.
About the Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers were founded in 1992, and are proud members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). In the two seasons that the Rattlers have been in the IFL, they have won one championship in 2017 and was in the conference championship last season. The Rattlers spent 24 seasons in the Arena Football League (AFL), and in that time made ten appearances in the ArenaBowl, winning in 2014, 2013, 2012, 1997 and 1994. For tickets, call 602-514-TDTD (8383), or visit www.azrattlers.com.
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We will overcome every hurdle that is placed in front of us, just like the legend Rod Windsor! Stay strong Rattler… https://t.co/VZPgUvdXXN