RATTLERS KNOCK OFF UNDEFEATED SHARKS
Arizona hands Jacksonville first loss of the season
Jacksonville, FL – The Jacksonville Sharks (6-1) led the Arena Football League in defense, holding their opponents to just 42 points per game, but they couldn’t stop the number one offense of the Arizona Rattlers (6-1) who handed them their first loss of the season, 58-48, on Saturday night at Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in front of 11,076 fans.
Arizona’s point tally was well under its League leading average of 71, but that didn’t factor in as the Rattler defense put up stop after stop against the Sharks.
After coming up short on the first drive of the game and seeing Jacksonville take the early 7-0 lead, Arizona turned on all cylinders. Davila accounted for all five touchdowns in the first half as he rushed in the first to put Arizona on the board.
Davila and WR Rod Windsor were on the same page all night as the two connected for scores on a total of two plays. It took just four plays for the Rattlers to notch another score as WR Trandon Harvey caught a 30-yard pass to make it 27-13. After Marcus Pittman came up with a sack for the Rattler defense, Davila found Windsor one more time in the half, this time on two plays, to make it 34-13 with 1:48 to play.
Former Rattler Markee White scored for Jacksonville with just 20 seconds to go to send it into the break a 34-19 ballgame.
The Sharks got the ball to open the second half and used a six play drive to cut the Rattlers lead to eight at 34-26. But that was as close as they would get. Arizona worked their way back downfield and Odie Armstrong rushed it in to put the Rattlers back up by 15.
A forced fumble by Arkeith Brown and recovery from Tyre Glasper gave the Rattlers the ball back on the 23-yard line. Arizona took full advantage of the turnover, stringing together a four play, 32-yard drive that ended with Windsor in the end zone to close out the third quarter.
Jacksonville outscored the Rattlers 22-10 in the fourth quarter, picking up three touchdowns and recording a two-point conversion, but it wasn’t enough to catch the Rattlers. The Sharks scored on their first drive of the quarter and immediately tried for an on-side kick. But Arizona recovered and took over at the Sharks 17-yard line.
On just two plays, yet again, Davila found Windsor for his fifth touchdown of the game. Lindholm would kick a 30-yard field goal with 48 seconds to play to put the Rattlers ahead 58-41.
Davila finished the game 21-of-30 for 215 yards and six touchdowns while Windsor pulled in 14 catches for 145 yards and five TDs on the night.
Jacksonville WR Jeron Harvey tallied 16 receptions for 143 yards and three touchdowns. QB Bernard Morris finished the game going 27-for-41 for 255 yards and three TDs.
On the defensive side, DB Marquis Floyd led all players with seven solo tackles and three pass breakups. Jeremy Kellem picked up six tackles of his own along with two pass breakups. Antron Dillon and Marcus Pittman each recorded a sack for the Rattlers, while Cliff Dukes accounted for the other fumble.
Arizona returns home to take on division rivals, the Utah Blaze next Saturday, May 11, 6pm on Ak-Chin Field at the US Airways Center.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game – Arizona WR Rod Windsor
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game – Arizona DB Marquis Floyd
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game – Arizona QB Nick Davila
Cutters Catch of the Game – Jacksonville WR Jarvis Williams’ one-handed 21-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter
AFL Highlight of the Game – Arizona WR Trandon Harvey’s 30-yard touchdown catch in the second 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