PHOENIX, ARIZ. – In a critical grudge match, the Arizona Rattlers (17-2) got revenge against the team that knocked them out of last year’s playoffs, beating the defending ArenaBowl Champion Spokane Shock (9-10) 62-33 on Friday night (July 29) inside the US Airways Center.
The game was up for grabs until late in the third quarter, when the Rattler defense took over. Arizona forced a turnover on downs late in the third quarter, and went on to cement the victory with two interception returns for touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The next Rattler home playoff game comes against the Chicago Rush on Saturday (August 6) inside the US Airways Center. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
QB NICK DAVILA completed 15-of-24 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns. WR KERRY REED led Rattler receivers with six catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns. WR JASON GEATHERS contributed four catches for 44 yards and one score.
FB ODIE ARMSTRONG had a solid game, rushing for 32 yards on five carries and two touchdowns.
It was an unusually out-of-sync game for a Rattler offense, that had been stopped only one time in the previous three games, but managed only one offensive play in the game’s first quarter. But when all was said and done, Arizona still managed to hit its season average of (61.9 ppg) by scoring 62 points, helped immensely by an outstanding defensive effort.
The Rattler defense was phenomenal, causing a total of five turnovers, and never giving Spokane a chance to gain back momentum. Riddell Defensive Player of the Game DB MARQUIS FLOYD forced two turnovers of his own, recovering a fumble and returning an interception for a touchdown with 27 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, adding insult to injury. DB VINCE HILL intercepted his eighth pass of the year with just over eight minutes to go in the second quarter with the game tied at seven. DB VIRGIL GRAY continued his strong two-way play, intercepting his eleventh pass of the year, while also notching his sixth kickoff return for a touchdown in 2011.
LB KEVIN McCULLOUGH intercepted his sixth pass of the year with 7:52 in the fourth, returning it 12 yards to put the Rattlers up 48-26, essentially icing the game for Arizona.
Spokane QB Kyle Rowley went 25-of-45 for 210 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions, finding WR Greg Orton eight times for 104 yards and three scores.
The Shock defense was led by DB Ruschard Dodd-Masters who collected six tackles and one interception.
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 6 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.