Duluth, GA – After a six and a half hour trip to Georgia the Rattlers came out ready to play from the opening possession of the game. The Rattlers received the opening kickoff and started their drive at the 5 yard line after the Martinez touchback. Davila completed his first two passes to Kerry Reed both for 15 yards each.
On the third play of the game Davila found Glen Fox on the right side for the game’s first touchdown at 13:31 in the first quarter. The Force took the field at the 5 yard line after another Chris Gould touchback. Georgia drove the field in 6 plays and tied the game with a pass from Kevin Eakin to Larry Shipp. After the Kerry Reed kickoff return for 7 yards the Rattlers scored on their second play of the drive when Davila found a streaking Maurice Purify down the left sideline as he was scrambling to his right for a 31 yard touchdown.
Chris Gould missed the extra point to make the score 13-7 with 7:35 left in the opening period. On the ensuing possession the Rattlers had a Arkeith Brown interception taken away by a holding penalty which put Georgia on the Rattlers 7 yard line going in. The Rattlers defense got stingy and pushed the Force back to the 11 yard line and after three none productive plays the Force settled for a field goal making it 13-10, Arizona Rattlers still leading.
To start the second quarter the Rattlers turned the ball over on downs after Markee White dropped a Nick Davila pass. The Force got the ball on the Rattlers 11 yard line to start their next possession. After four plays and 1 offensive penalty the Force kicked another field goal to tie up the game on a 30 yarder by Martinez 13-13 with 11:52 in the game.
The Rattlers started at their own 4 yard line after an illegal block in the back on the kickoff return. On the third play Davila connected with Kerry Reed for a 40 yard completion. Two plays later Glen Fox found the endzone for the second time in the afternoon to make it 20-13 Rattlers. A fortuitous play by Lance Caldwell grabbing a loose ball off the wall and getting the turnover gave the Rattlers the ball at Georgia’s 20 yard line. Two plays later the Rattlers found themselves at the Force’s 3 yard line after Davila connected with Markee White for a 17 yard pick up.
After unsuccessfully trying to run the ball on three straight downs Chris Gould added a field goal to extend the Rattlers lead to 23-13 with 2:41 left in the first half. On the very first play of the next offensive series for the Force Ron Jones powered into the backfield for a sack and safety to give the Rattlers a 25-13 lead and possession of the ball. After the kickoff Coach Guy lead the offense down the field working the clock down to 11 seconds before Davila called his own number for a 1 yard touchdown run with 9 seconds left in the first half. After the Gould extra point the Rattlers found themselves going into the half with a 32 to 13 lead.
The triplets of Maurice Purify, Kerry Reed and Glen Fox fueled an offensive output of 8 catches for 123 yards and 3 touchdowns in the first half. Nick Davila was 9 for 15 and 3 touchdowns in the opening half. The workhorse for the Force has been Larry Shipp who has 6 catches for 47 yards and the sole touchdown for Georgia. The Force’s quarterback Kevin Eakin was 12 for 20 for 110 yards and 1 touchdown. To start the second half Georgia received the opening kickoff and returned it to the 7 yard line. The Force drove down the field with a physical first drive that was aided by another defensive holding call on the Rattlers defense on a fourth down play which would have seen the Force turn the ball over. Instead three plays later Georgia scored a touchdown when Eakin’s found #5 C.J. Johnson on the left side for a 4 yard touchdown completion.
With 8:26 left in the third quarter the score was Arizona 32, Georgia 20. Davila’s pass deflected off Purify’s hands and found its way right to #6 Tracy Belton for the interception. Three plays later Rattlers safety Arkeith Brown jumped a route and picked off Eakin’s pass giving Arizona the ball first and ten at their own 8 yard line. Davila was efficient moving the ball down the field hitting three different receivers as the Rattlers got down to the Force’s 3 yard line. After two penalties on the Rattlers offense for illegal shifts the Rattlers were first and goal from the 11 yard line. Two plays later Davila finds team leading receiver Maurice Purify for the touchdown extending the Rattlers lead to 45 to 20 at the end of the third quarter.
The Rattlers found themselves with a comfortable lead going into the fourth quarter and the defense dialed up the pressure with Marcus Pittman, Ron Jones and Anttaj Hawthorne dialing up the heat down in hotlanta. The Rattlers came to Georgia with a dominant attitude and played four quarters of passionate football to win this one 60 to 27. Davila ended the night early with 16 completions for 224 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Rattler fans make sure you join us this coming Saturday May 5th at US Airways in Phoenix as we host divisional rivals the San Jose Sabercats, let’s pack the snake pit!!!!!!
About the Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers are a proud member of the Arena Football League (AFL). Season tickets are on sale now and start at just $10. For ticket specials and information please call (602) 514-TDTD (8383) or online at www.azrattlers.com.