RATTLERS DOMINATE SABERCATS
Arizona remains undefeated at 3-0
Phoenix, AZ – In a much anticipated matchup that not only pitted two long standing rivals against each other, but two undefeated teams, the Arizona Rattlers (3-0) rolled past the San Jose SaberCats (2-1) in convincing fashion 73-47 on Saturday night at the US Airways Center.
On the SaberCats first possession of the game Aaron Garcia got sacked twice and the Rattlers jumped out to an early lead on a 40-yard interception return by DB Marquis Floyd. San Jose quickly answered with a 6 play 40-yard drive to tie it 7-7. The two teams again traded touchdowns as Nick Davila connected with Tysson Poots and Garcia with Jarmarko Simmons to know the game at the end of the quarter.
Davila and Poots linked up again to start off the second quarter. An interception by Virgil Gray gave the Rattlers back the ball and a 24-yard pass from Davila to Kerry Reed put Arizona up 28-14. On the next drive Reed tagged Garcia with his third interception of the game and took it 43 yards for another TD.
Arizona didn’t stick to just the passing game as they closed out the half with two rushing touchdowns from Odie Armstrong, the second with just five seconds to play. The Rattlers outscored San Jose 35-14 in the second quarter alone and went into halftime up 49-28.
Armstrong tallied his third touchdown of the night to open the second half, this time on a 37-yard pass. A 24-yard field goal from Garrett Lindholm at the 3:51 mark made it a 59-35 ballgame. The SaberCats couldn’t convert on their final drive of the quarter sending it into the fourth with the same score.
Reed found the endzone for the third time three minutes into the fourth quarter to put Arizona up 66-35. The SaberCats answered with a TD of their own to cut the lead to 25 only to see the Rattlers put up another touchdown as Davila found Rod Windsor. San Jose would score once more with 4:27 left in the game but it wasn’t enough as the Rattlers took the 73-47 victory.
The two highly touted quarterbacks put up similar stats on the night, Davila completed 13-of-22 passes for 231 yards and six touchdowns while Garcia connected on 25-of-42 throws for 293 yards and 6 TDs. The difference maker was the defense as the Rattlers intercepted Garcia three times, recording 29 tackles and two sacks.
Arizona will hit the road again next week to take on the only other undefeated team in the West Division, the Spokane Shock on Friday, April 12.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Arizona Rattlers FB Odie Armstrong
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Arizona Rattlers DB Virgil Gray
J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME
San Jose SaberCats DB Mervin Brookins
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME
San Jose SaberCats WR Huey Whittaker’s juggling touchdown catch in the 3rd quarter
AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
Arizona Rattlers Db Marquis Floyd tipped pass interception & 40-yard return for a TD in the first quarter