RATTLERS EXTINGUISH BLAZE
Arizona wins division game 65-49
Phoenix, AZ – The Arizona Rattlers (7-1) took down division rivals the Utah Blaze (3-4) by a score of 65-49 on Saturday night on Ak-Chin Field at the US Airways Center in front of season high 10,216 fans.
Rattlers QB Nick Davila went 19-31 for 208 yards with five touchdowns while Utah QB Tommy Grady went 25-50 for 302 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions. Odie Armstrong ran for two touchdowns and added another through the air. Mario Urrutia had 9 catches for 174 yards and 3 touchdowns for the Blaze.
Utah started off the game with a long, battle of a drive that they eventually won with a touchdown pass to Aaron Lesué on fourth down. Urrutia then scored on a 39-yard catch-and-run after a Davila incompletion on fourth down to give the Blaze a quick 14-0 lead.
Virgil Gray sparked Arizona with a 56-yard kickoff return touchdown following the Blaze score. Arkeith Brown then intercepted Grady and Armstrong cashed in on the turnover on a short rush to tie the game 14-14 at the end of the first quarter.
Gray and Brown continued to create big plays at the start of the second quarter. Gray ran down Lesué and stripped him from behind to force a fumble that was picked up by Brown in the end zone and returned 15-yards. Armstrong again flipped the turnover into points on a short pass from Davila.
Grady connected with Urrutia on an 18-yard touchdown pass, which was answered by Davila on a 21-yard strike to Rod Windsor. Utah’s next possession stalled early on an incompletion on fourth down by Grady. Davila scored off the turnover with 41 seconds left on a pass to Jared Perry. Chase Deadder made the nice grab in the end zone for the Blaze to answer the Rattlers score with 18 seconds left. Garrett Lindholm misfired on a field goal to end the first half with Arizona on top 35-28.
Utah gambled on an onside kick to start off the second half, which was recovered by Arizona and turned quickly into points by Kerry Reed. Tyre Glasper and Cliff Dukes pressured Grady on the next Blaze possession and Jeremy Kellem broke up a pass on fourth down.
Trandon Harvey joined in on the Rattlers scoring with a 1-yard rush touchdown to put the Rattlers up by 20. The Blaze continued to struggle on fourth-down as Grady threw four straight incompletions from the Rattlers’ 20-yard line.
This time the Rattlers offense could not convert the Blaze turnover into points. Ben Stallings ran home the first Utah rushing touchdown after a long drive down the field. The Blaze again tried to gain an extra possession with an onside kick, but it was recovered by the Rattlers and turned into Windsor’s second touchdown.
Another long drive by the Blaze was capped off by Deadder’s second touchdown of the night. Caesar Rayford stripped Davila on the next possession and Urrutia scored his third touchdown of the night on the next play to bring the Blaze within a score. With the pressure on, Lindholm connected on a 20-yard field goal to put the Rattlers up by 2 possessions. Arizona regained a comfy lead after Marcus Pittman recovered a Utah fumble and Armstrong scored his third touchdown of the night. Brown finished off the Blaze by picking off another Grady pass.
The Rattlers are back on the road next week as they travel to Chicago to take on the Rush.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game
Arizona Rattlers QB Nick Davila
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game
Arizona Rattlers DB Arkeith Brown
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game
Utah Blaze DB David Hyland
Cutters Catch of the Game
Utah Blaze WR Mario Urrutia, 39yrd catch from Grady with 5:38 to play in the 1st quarter
AFL Highlight of the Game
Arizona Rattlers DB Virgil Gray, 56yrd kickoff return for a touchdown with 4:47 to play in the 1st quarter
The Arizona Rattlers are the 2012 ArenaBowl XXV World Champions and are proud members of the Arena Football League (AFL). ArenaBowl XXV marked the Rattlers seventh appearance in the AFL Championship Game where they have earned Arena Bowl titles in 1994, 1997 and 2012.
For 2013 season ticket information please call (602) 514-TDTD (8383) or visit www.azrattlers.com.
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