ATTENTION: Kickoff for the Arizona Rattlers’ Conference Championship game against the Chicago Rush has been changed to 7 p.m.
MESA, Ariz. – The Arizona Rattlers (17-2) head into the Conference Championship round of the Arena Football League playoffs facing the Chicago Rush (14-5), the second squad that Arizona has faced in as many weeks that took down the Rattlers in the regular season.
Taking only one snap in the first quarter of last week’s win over the Spokane Shock (62-33), QB NICK DAVILA still managed to put together a victorious outing, going 15-of-24 for 167 yards, while throwing four touchdowns and two interceptions.
In the receiving game, WR KERRY REED has emerged as of late and looks to be a Davila beneficiary in this match up. The wide receiver has caught 23 balls for 203 yards and eight touchdowns in his last three outings, accounting for much of Arizona’s offensive production.
An often protection blocking full back, FB ODIE ARMSTRONG recorded some solid rushing production in the Quarterfinal victory over the Shock, running the ball for 32 yards and two scores.
The Rattler defense will have to prepare for Rush QB JJ Raterink, who threw for 287 yards and six scores against the Dallas Vigilantes in a (54-51) Quarterfinal victory. Arizona’s turnover hungry defense and precise offense has allowed the squad to hold onto a +36 turnover margin – an overwhelming league best.
LB KEVIN McCULLOUGH has collected 10.5 tackles and one interception return for a touchdown in two games after being activated from injured reserve. McCullough, and each member of the starting Rattler defensive backfield, collected an interception against the Shock
The Conference Championship match up will showcase the AFL’s top two scoring defenses, with Arizona holding regular season opponents to 46.4 points per game and Chicago limiting regular season opponents to 46.3 points per game. Much of the Rush’s defensive push comes from DB Vic Hall. The defensive back has collected 15 interceptions in 14 games played.
Chicago provides receiving threats with WR Reggie Gray and WR Charles Dillon. The two receivers combined for 13 catches, 176 yards and four scores in a 50-49 (May 14) victory over the Rattlers.
FB Johnnie Kirton has gained 366 yards on 114 attempts this season, scoring 15 touchdowns. The fullback gained 18 yards on six carries and scored one rushing touchdown in Chicago’s last meeting with Arizona.
About the Arizona Rattlers
The Rattlers next home game is Saturday, August 6 against the Chicago Rush in the Conference Championship round of the Arena Football League playoffs at the US Airways Center. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Arizona Rattlers are a proud member of the Arena Football League, which is in its 24th season with 18 franchises from coast to coast.
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