PHOENIX, Ariz. – The six-time world champion Arizona Rattlers (10-3) lost to the Iowa Barnstormers (10-2) by a score of 41-38 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. This loss puts the Rattlers in second place in the Indoor Football League (IFL).
Both teams traded punches in the first half, but a seven-point second half by the Rattlers allowed Iowa to come away with the victory.
Rattlers quarterback Jeff Ziemba completed 16-of-31 for 173 yards and three touchdowns. RB Darrell Monroe led the team on the ground with 52 yards on five attempts and a touchdown.
For Iowa, Drew Powell comprised most of the Barnstormers offense, throwing for 68 yards and two touchdowns in the air, and rushing for 129 yards on 26 attempts and two scores on the ground.
Devontae Merriweather led the Rattlers on defense, totaling 6 tackles, one for a loss, recovered one fumble and had one pass breakup.
Despite the loss, the Rattlers are still in good position to host at least one playoff game, however, it does add a bit of intrigue to the last two weeks of the season.
The Rattlers drove down the field on their first possession and took the lead off of a 7-yard touchdown pass from Ziemba to WR Jamal Miles.
Iowa responded by having Powell pitch the ball to WR Brady Roland, who then threw the ball 37 yards to WR Ryan Ballentine for the score. The PAT was missed by K Josh Gable, making the score 7-6 Arizona.
The Rattlers got into the red zone off of a 38-yard run by Monroe. Two plays later, Ziemba would rush three-yards for the end zone.
Iowa again drove the ball down the field and scored off of a nine-yard rush by Powell. Rattlers would lead by a score of 14-13.
Both teams would fail to score on each of their next possessions. The Rattlers would then score off a 23-yard touchdown pass from Ziemba to WR Anthony Amos.
The Barnstormers would again respond, this time a four-yard pass from Powell to Ballentine, making the score 21-20; Rattlers.
Arizona would again go up by eight off of a two-yard rush by RB Darrell Monroe, his 25th of the season.
Iowa kept pace off of a 36-yard touchdown pass from Powell to Roland to pull within one.
The Rattlers would close out the half with a 27-yard field goal to make it 31-27 going into halftime.
The only score of the third quarter came by way of Drew Powell for the Barnstormers, who ran it in from six yards out. The Barnstormers would add to their lead midway through the fourth with a seven-yard run by Skyler Scott.
The Rattlers added a score late by a two-yard pass from Ziemba to Miles to pull within three with 14 seconds remaining, but a failed onside kick would end the game.
The Rattlers head into a bye week, and will travel to Grand Island, Nebraska on Saturday, June 16 to face the Nebraska Danger (4-9) for the final game of the regular season. Nebraska is coming off of a seven-point loss to Cedar Rapids. The game will kick off at 5:00 p.m. PDT at Eihusen Arena, and will be streaming live on YouTube.
For more information, head to azrattlers.com.
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About the Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers were founded in 1992 and are proud members and current champions 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. They also won the United Bowl in 2017. For tickets, call 602-514-TDTD (8383), or visit www.azrattlers.com.
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