– The Snake Pit inside US Airways Center came alive tonight with 7,540 in attendance. The Rattlers brought in the number one scoring offense to face off against the Pittsburgh Power’s number one passing defense, in what was sure to be an intense match up for everyone to enjoy.
Rattlers QB Nick Davila (19-36-282 & 5 TDs) would take the first snap under center and it was GAME ON! After an initial dead ball penalty on Pittsburgh, that Rattlers first play from scrimmage was a laser to a streaking WR Kerry Reed (5 rec for 90yds & 2 TDs) for the game’s first touchdown. Pittsburgh QB Bryan Randall (22-45-307 & 4 TDs) would quickly answer back two plays later with his only TD pass of the first quarter to WR Michael Washington (7-92 & 2 TDs). Davila would toss one more TD Pass to WR Maurice Purify (7-113 & 1 TD), and the quarter would end with a score 14-7 Rattlers.
To open up the second quarter Power FB Tyre Young (4 carries 12yds & 2 TDs) would pound in a short yardage run for the Power. However, the Rattlers would quickly answer back with another TD Pass from Davila to Reed. After the Power failed to convert on 4th down, Davila would toss his 4th TD of the first half to WR Trandon Harvey (6-64 & 2 TDs). Pittsburgh QB Bryan Randall, the former Virginia Tech Hokie, would throw another TD, and Young would see pay-dirt again with another short run for a score. Reigning AFL MVP, Nick Davila would toss his 5th TD of the first half. To close out the 2nd quarter K Chris Gould would come out and make an 18 yard FG, to give the Rattlers a 10 point lead as they head into halftime, 38-28.
The Power would have possession to the start the 2nd half, but only for two plays. Rattlers DB Marquis Floyd would pick off Randall at the Rattlers 1-yard line, and 1st ranked scoring offense would take over once again. Davila would march the Rattlers downfield, and FB John Booker would rush one in, increasing the lead to 45-28. The Power would put their first points of the 3rd quarter on the board when K Geoff Boyer put one in from 28-yards out, bring the score to 45-31, Arizona. Arizona’s Trandon Harvey would be in the end zone awaiting Boyer’s kickoff, so he could return 57-yards for another Rattlers TD, ending the quarter with a score of 52-31, Rattlers.
The Power would once again start the quarter with the ball, but would fail to do anything with it. They would attempt to convert a 4th down deep in their own territory, but fail, and allow the Rattlers to takeover inside the 10. Even with the amazing field position, the Rattlers could not convert, giving the ball right back to the Power giving them the chance to put of the quarters first points. The Power would move the ball downfield, and eventually into the end zone.
WR Randy Hymes (5-67 & 2 TDs) would catch an 8-yard pass from Randall, and the score would be 52-38 with 5:56 left to play in the 4th. The following kickoff was an onside kick that could have nearly been returned for a TD by the Power if it wasn’t for an offside penalty, but even with the penalty the Power would get the ball back on the next play when Reed would fumble on the 2-yard line. A few plays and penalty later, Randall would find Washington in the end zone, and bring the score to within 7 with just over two minutes left. The Rattlers would have excellent field position on their next possession, but fail to put it in the end zone, and Gould would have to come out and put another one through the uprights, giving the Rattlers a 10 point lead, 55-45.
The Power would have another shot to put points on the board, but DB Arkeith Brown was not going to allow that. Brown, picked off Randall’s pass and returned it to midfield. The Rattlers would run out the clock, and come away with the victory, 55-45 to take over sole possession of first place in National Western Division of the Arena Football League with only six games remaining on the regular season schedule.
Russell Athletic Player of the Game – (Ari) Offensive Line
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game – (Pit) Davion Mitchell
JLS Ironman of the Game – (Ari) John Booker
AFL Playmaker of the Game – (Ari) Maurice Purify
Cutters Catch of the Game – (Pit) Michael Washington
Spalding Highlight of the Game – (Ari) Maurice Purify
National Guard MVP – (Ari) Trandon Harvey