RATTLERS MAKE QUICK WORK OF BLAZE
Arizona on fire in second half
Salt Lake City, UT – The Arizona Rattlers (2-0) made their first road trip of the year to face off against division rival the Utah Blaze (1-1) in a matchup that pitted 2012 ArenaBowl MVP, Arizona QB Nick Davila, against 2012 AFL MVP, Utah QB Tommy Grady. After a hard fought first half, the Rattlers took control in the second half defeating the Blaze 77-49 on Friday night at the EnergySolutions Arena.
On the third play of the first drive, Davila (21-30, 285 yrds, 7 TDs) was intercepted by DB David Hyland, giving the Blaze the ball. But Grady (19-37, 195 yrds, 4 TDs, 5 INT) didn’t fare much better on his opening possession as his first throw was intercepted by DL Cliff Dukes at the 1 yard line and taken in for a touchdown, giving Arizona the early lead. Blaze DL Caesar Rayford blocked the extra point making it 6-0.
Utah got the ball back, but on the fifth play of the drive Grady was intercepted again, this time by DB Jeremy Kellem. That set up a seven play drive for Arizona that ended with Davila finding WR Tysson Poots (8 rec, 96 yrds, 4 TDs) for his first TD of the night. The good PAT by Garrett Lindholm (8-11 PAT, 1 FG) would make it 13-0. The Blaze got on the board when Grady hit Mario Urrutia (11 rec, 172 yrds, 3 TDs) as time expired in the first quarter to make it 13-7.
Davila again connected with Poots on the first drive of the second quarter to make it 20-7 before Grady found Brian Thompkins in the end zone to pull Utah within a touchdown. On the next drive, Davila threw his first interception of the night, being picked off by DB Maurice Leggett. The Blaze made good on the turnover as Grady found WR Chase Deadder (6 rec, 66 yards, 3 TDs) to give Utah their first lead at 21-20.
Both teams would score once more, Davila to Jared Perry (6 rec, 96 yrds, 2 TDs) and Grady to Urrutia, to put the score at 28-26 Blaze with 40 seconds to go in the half. Arizona put together a six play, 40 yard drive that saw Poots score his third TD of the game with six seconds left. The Lindholm extra point was good and the Rattlers went into the break up 33-28.
The second half was all Arizona as they rattled off 34 unanswered points, shutting out the Blaze in the third quarter and picking off Grady three more times. Virgil Gray, Antron Dillon and Marquis Floyd accounted for the interceptions. The Rattlers got touchdowns from Gray, Odie Armstrong, and Kerry Reed as they put up 20 points in the third quarter to take a 53-28 advantage.
Arizona never let up as Davila connected with Perry to start the fourth quarter. Utah would finally find the end zone again at the 12:26 mark when backup QB Jason Boltus (8-14, 144 yrds, 3 TDs, 1 INT) hit Urrutia to make it 60-35. A field goal, another completion to Poots and an interception return from Arkeith Brown would round out the scoring.
The Rattlers defense posted five stops in the second half alone and forced the Blaze into a team record six interceptions on the night.
Arizona will return home next week to take on yet another division powerhouse in the San Jose SaberCats on Saturday, April 6.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Arizona Rattlers QB Nick Davila
RIDDEL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Arizona Rattlers DB Virgil Gray
J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME
Arizona Rattlers WR Tysson Poots
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME
22-yard interception returned for a touchdown by Rattlers DB Virgil Gray (3rd Quarter)
AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
Interception by Rattlers DL Antron Dillon off the official (3rd 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