RATTLERS HOLD ON TO DEFEAT RUSH
Arizona beats Chicago 56-49
Chicago, IL – The Chicago Rush (4-5) tried to muster some fourth quarter heroics but were unable to catch the Arizona Rattlers (8-1), who picked up their fifth consecutive victory, with a 56-49 win in front of 4,859 at the Allstate Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Just 1:40 into the game, Rattlers QB Nick Davila connected with a wide open Kerry Reed on a 25-yard pass to put Arizona on top. The Rush answered on their possession but back came Davila, this time to Rod Windsor with a 15-yard touchdown pass. For the second consecutive week, Chicago WR Rodney Wright returned a kickoff into the end zone, this time going 57-yards to knot the game at 14. But the Rattlers capped off the half with another TD from Davila to Reed.
Chicago got the ball to start eh second half but their possession didn’t last long as Rush QB Luke Drone was picked off by Virgil Gray. The Rattlers capitalized as Davila found Trandon Harvey, making it 28-14. After Reggie Gray scored his second of the afternoon, Arizona got the ball back and on fourth and goal Davila was able to find former Rush WR Jared Perry.
Chicago downed the ball intentionally at the 1-yard line in hopes to run down the clock, but two tackles from Anttaj Hawthorne, a blocked pass by Cliff Dukes and a QB rush from Tyre Glasper stifled the Rush offense and Arizona took a 35-21 lead into the break.
After the Rush scored on the opening drive of the half, Davila found Windsor on 3rd and long to give the Rattlers a 42-28 advantage. Chicago fumbled on the opening play of the next drive. It was recovered by Virgil gray to make it 1st and goal at the 1-yard line. Armstrong rushed it in, giving the Rattlers their largest lead of the game at 21.
The two teams traded scores before things got interesting. Up 56-42, Arizona was called for two false starts and offsides, negating a touchdown and forcing a 62-yard field goal attempt. The FG came up short giving Chicago the ball. Drone capitalized, hitting Reggie Gray on a 32-yard pass and making it a one touchdown game at 56-49.
The kickoff hit the bracket and the Rush recovered with five minutes to play. Defensive pass interference on fourth down gave Chicago a fresh set of downs but the Rush were unable to convert giving Arizona the ball back with 32 seconds to play and sealing the victory.
Davila finished the game 18-for-31 for 301 yards and seven touchdowns, running his streak to five games without an interception. Windsor led the way with 10 catches for 186 yards and three TDS, while Perry had two receptions, both resulting in scores against his former team.
Drone was 14-for-34 in the game for 261 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. Reggie Gray posted a game-high four touchdowns on eight catches for 194 yards.
The Rattlers return to the Snake Pit next Saturday, May 25, to take on the Iowa Barnstormers on Military Appreciation Night.
About the Arizona Rattlers
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