Sioux Falls, S.D. – The five-time World Champion Arizona Rattlers (0-1) lose their first game of the season to the Sioux Falls Storm (1-0) by a score of 40-29 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls.
The Rattlers were headed into their first foray in the Indoor Football League (IFL), and faced a team with a 62-game home winning streak. The task was tall, and while Arizona at times looked tall enough for it, in the end they fell just short.
Arizona QB Darron Thomas got the start, and showed a lot of promise throwing for 148 yards and three touchdowns, and running for 23 yards. He did have one interception though, a 50-yard pick six, which proved costly.
The Rattlers got their first taste of having a true run game, and RBs Darrell Monroe and Jamal Miles did not disappoint, combining for 61 yards and a score. Monroe did have one fumble.
The Storm relied heavily on the run game. RB Korey Williams lead the way with 61 yards on nine attempts and a touchdown. RBs Mike Tatum and Robbie Rouse also saw a lot of action compiling 38 and 25 yards respectively. QB Lorenzo Brown also had 41 yards on the ground and one touchdown. Brown also threw for 59 yards and another score.
The Storm got on the board first with a three-yard rush by RB Korey Williams.
The Rattlers responded early in the second with a 1-yard touchdown rush by RB Darrell Monroe. Arizona faked the point after (PAT) kick as QB Jon Wolf ran it in for two. On the Storm’s next possession, a mishandled snap by QB Lorenzo Brown was jumped on by DE Chris McAllister. Two plays later, QB Darron Thomas threw a 27-yard bomb to WR Demarius Washington for six. K Sawyer Petre missed the PAT and the Rattlers led the Storm 14-7.
The Storm responded when, after Brown looked to be dead to rights to LB Joshua Gordon for a loss, but ducked the sack and ran 36-yards for the score.
Arizona answered back with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to WR Anthony Amos. The Rattlers once again caught the Sioux Falls off-guard with another fake kick and a 2-point conversion by Wolf.
Sioux Falls pulled within one with a 5-yard touchdown rush by RB Robbie Rouse.
Both the Rattlers and the Storm each had one more possession, but were unable to score; and so the Rattlers took a one-point lead into halftime with the score, 22-21.
Arizona started the second half with a methodical seven-play drive that ended with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to Amos.
The Rattlers were looking to go up by two scores after a turnover on downs, but Thomas threw an interception in the end zone that was returned by DB Mike Tatum 50-yards for the touchdown.
Both teams struggled to score until the Storm were finally able to break the plane, with a seven-yard rush by Tatum. After the Rattlers turned the ball over on downs with just under a minute left, Brown threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to WR Korey Williams for a final score of 40-29, Sioux Falls.
The Rattlers home opener will be next Sunday, February 26th, longtime rival, the Iowa Barnstormers (0-0). The Barnstormers play Saturday night against the Wichita Falls Nighthawks (0-0). The Rattlers / Barnstormers game will be televised on FOX Sports Arizona Plus, and streamed online on the free FOX Sports GO app and on FOXSportsGo.com. The game will also be streamed online on YouTube Live.
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About the Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers were founded in 1992, and are proud members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). 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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 17, 2017
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