Rattlers held the Strike Force scoreless in the second half
SAN DIEGO – The Arizona Rattlers (7-0) have taken sole possession of first place with a 52-14 victory over the San Diego Strike Force (3-3) at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego Monday night.
The win puts the Rattlers on top of the Indoor Football League (IFL) after the Iowa Barnstormers (6-1) lost to the Sioux Falls Storm (6-1) this past Saturday.
Arizona trailed by seven early in the second, but their defense held San Diego scoreless for two and a half quarters and walked off the field with a commanding 38-point victory.
The Rattlers defense was led by DB Dillion Winfrey who had 7.5 tackles and two interceptions, the first of which was returned 30 yards for a touchdown, and the second ended the game. Arizona also had four sacks in the game, 1.5 by LB Ricky Wyatt Jr., one by Chris McAllister, and a half sack by Lance McDowdell.
Offensively for the Rattlers, QB Jeff Ziemba completed 11-of-20 for 152 yards and a touchdown. RB Roland Genesy got his first start and led the team on the ground with 75 yards on 12 attempts and three touchdowns.
For San Diego, QB Jihad Vercher completed 15 of his 30 attempts for 127-yards and a touchdown and led his team rushing with 14 yards on 14 attempts. He also threw three interceptions.
Rattlers got on the board first off of a 29-yard touchdown pass from Ziemba to WR Sheldon Augustine.
San Diego wrestled the lead away from Arizona after a successful eight-play drive that resulted in a one-yard touchdown run by WR Marques Rodgers that pulled them within one. Then after a fourth down stop, the Strike Force scored off of a 10-yard pass from Jihad Vercher that was caught over the boards by WR Victor Dean. A 2-point conversion was completed by Rodgers to give San Diego a seven-point lead.
Arizona would take the lead back off of a couple touchdown runs by RB Roland Genesy, the first from four yards, the second from 18 yards.
The Rattlers would end the first half with a 22-yard field goal by K Jimmy Camacho, and would go into the locker room leading 24-14.
Arizona would receive the ball in the third quarter and would extend their lead off of a one-yard touchdown run by Genesy.
San Diego’s next snap went over the head of QB Jihad Vercher and went out the back of the endzone for a safety.
Early in the fourth, Rattlers would extend their lead again when QB Caleb Holbrook rushed in one-yard for the score.
On San Diego’s next possession, Vercher threw an interception to Winfrey who returned it 30-yards and the touchdown. WR Jarrod Harrington ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 46-14; Arizona.
The Rattlers added to their lead late in the fourth from a seven-yard pass from Holbrook to Harrington.
The Rattlers head to Sioux Falls this Saturday April, 27th to take on the Storm (6-1) for the last time in the 2019 regular season. Arizona defeated Sioux Falls at Talking Stick Resort Arena back on April 6th by a score of 58-40. Saturday’s game will kick off at 5:05 p.m. AZT, and can be seen 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.