Sioux Falls, S.D. – The Arizona Rattlers (8-0) stay undefeated and now have a firm grasp of the top spot in the Indoor Football League (IFL) after a 63-50 victory over the Sioux Falls Storm (6-2) at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center on Saturday night.
Arizona now has a two-game lead and the tie breaker over Sioux Falls for at least the second seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs. They still hold a one game lead overall in the IFL standings with this win after the Iowa Barnstormers (7-1) was able to squeak by the Tucson Sugar Skulls (3-5) tonight as well.
The Rattlers got an early lead and was able to stay at least two possessions ahead of the Storm throughout most of the game. Their offense, led by QB Jeff Ziemba, was able to score on 11 of their 12 possessions. Ziemba finished the game 15-of-21 for 180 yards and six touchdowns. RB Roland Genesy led the ground attack with 43 yards on 12 attempts and a touchdown. He also had a touchdown on special teams. Both WR Jarrod Harrington and Jamal Miles had three touchdowns each.
For Sioux Falls, QB Lorenzo Brown completed 13 of his 23 attempts for 208 yards and five touchdowns. He did throw one interception. Brown also led his team rushing with 25 yards on seven attempts.
Arizona’s defense was again led by DB Dillion Winfrey with six tackles and an interception that was returned 28 yards. Defensive linemen Chris McAllister and Nikolaus D’Avanzo, and linebacker Ricky Wyatt Jr. each had a sack.
Rattlers got on the board first after taking advantage of a blocked field goal by DL Nikolaus D’Avanzo. Six plays later, WR Jarrod Harrington took the pitch from Ziemba and ran it in seven yards for the score.
The Storm was able to respond on the next play from scrimmage when QB Lorenzo Brown tossed the ball to WR Brandon Shepard, 34 yards for the score.
Arizona would score on back-to-back drives to take a two-score lead. The first, a 20-yard touchdown pass from Ziemba that took WR Jamal Miles over the wall. The second a 19-yard pass from Ziemba, also to Miles.
The Storm ended the first quarter with 30-yard touchdown pass from Brown to WR Damien Ford to pull within six.
The Rattlers again extended their lead off of a 13-yard pass from Ziemba to Harrington for the score.
After an interception by DB Dillion Winfrey, Arizona would add to their lead off of a 43-yard field goal by K Jimmy Camacho.
Sioux Falls pulled within nine when Lorenzo Brown completed a 20-yard pass to WR Kent Shelby with just over two minutes left in the half.
The Rattlers would close out the first half with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Ziemba to Harrington, his third of the game. Rattlers went into the locker room leading 37-21.
Arizona received the kick in the second half and took advantage with a five-play drive that was capped off by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Ziemba to Miles, his third of the game.
Sioux Falls got back on the scoreboard when Lorenzo Brown found Ford in the end zone, a 24-yard pass, for the score.
Rattlers again went up after a five play, 26-yard drive that would end with a two-yard touchdown run by Genesy.
With just over ten minutes left in the game, the Storm would pull within two possessions after an 11-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Ford.
Both teams traded field goals, Rattlers first with a 25-yarder from Camacho, followed by a K Douglas Parker 27-yarder.
With just over four minutes left in the fourth, Sioux Falls attempted an onside kick, but the kick was muffed and Genesy would scoop it up and return it for the score.
The Storm would again pull within two possessions, off of a 5-yard run by RB Tra’Von Chapman.
With only 10 seconds left, the Rattlers responded with a 24-yard field goal by Camacho.
Sioux Falls would score one last time with no time left on the clock off a 17-yard run by Cambell to make the final score 63-50.
The Rattlers return home this Saturday May 4th to take on the Nebraska Danger (5-4). Nebraska is coming off of a 66-42 victory over the Cedar Rapids River Kings on Friday. The game will kick off at 5:00 p.m. AZT at Talking Stick Resort Arena, and can be seen live Your Phoenix CW 6 and 61.1 and 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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