Tucson, Ariz – The Arizona Rattlers (11-0) defeated the Tucson Sugar Skulls (6-6) 62-47 for the third time this season to stay in control of their own destiny with the Indoor Football League regular season winding down.
The victory clinched the season series over the Sugar Skulls as the Rattlers have now won three of the first four meetings between their intrastate rivals. They will face the Sugar Skulls one final time this season at the Talking Stick Resort Arena on June 8th.
QB Drew Powell, who was coming off a nine-touchdown performance in the previous victory, finished with seven total touchdowns (no turnovers) in the win at the Tucson Arena. WR Jarrod Harrington finished with a career-high 114 receiving yards and three scores. He also added a kickoff return for a touchdown, his first special teams score of the season.
Defensively, both DL Lance McDowdell and Nik D’Avanzo each finished with four tackles and one TFL. DB Allen Chapman also forced a fumble that was eventually recovered by Tucson. The Rattlers held the Sugar skulls to only 69 yards rushing and 157 passing yards on 31 attempts.
The Sugar Skulls were led by QB Jake Medlock who threw for 156 yards and five scores in the defeat. He also led the team with 54 rushing yards. WR Shaq Curenton and Jeremiah Harris each hauled in two touchdown receptions versus the Rattlers.
Defensively, they were led by Keith Jones Jr. who finished with two tackles and one for loss. Former Arizona Rattler Edward Mosley added a tackle for loss and Emmanuel Roker led the Skulls with three tackles.
The Sugar Skulls first drive ended with a 22-yard touchdown pass from QB Jake Medlock to Jeremiah Harris early in the first quarter to claim a 6-0 lead.
Arizona would answer quickly on their first offensive possession with a touchdown strike from QB Drew Powell to Peoria, Arizona native Jamal Miles to gain a 7-6 lead.
Tucson’s next drive would conclude with a successful field goal attempt by Josh Gable after a tackle for loss by DB Devin Cockrell to reclaim the lead, 9-7.
Aided by an illegal defense penalty, the Rattlers would find pay dirt on another reception by Jamal Miles to give them a 14-9 advantage.
On the ensuing possession, the Sugar Skulls would turn the ball over on downs after a defensive stand by the Rattlers that included a shoestring tackle by DL Chris McAllister.
The Rattlers would respond a few plays later on another touchdown pass from Powell, this time to Jarrod Harrington to push the lead to 12 points in the second quarter.
The Skulls would threaten in the red zone, but they failed to find the end zone after a tackle for loss by DL Nik D’Avanzo. Tucson would settle for another field goal by Gable to cut the lead to nine points a few minutes before halftime.
Harrington, however, would take the ensuing kickoff 50-yards to the house for his second touchdown of the game, giving Arizona a 28-12 advantage.
In their final possession before halftime, Medlock would connect with WR Shaq Curenton for a touchdown to narrow the deficit to nine points.
Kicker Jimmy Camacho’s field goal attempt was missed wide left as time expired in the first half as the Rattlers would go into the locker room with a 28-19 lead.
The Rattlers started the second half with possession of the football and Powell would find Harrington a few plays later for the second time in the end zone to extend the lead to 35-19.
The Sugar Skulls were forced to kick a long field goal try on their ensuing possession that was missed wide left.
Just a few plays later, Powell would hook up with Harrington again for another touchdown to give the Rattlers a 41-19 lead late in the third quarter.
Tucson would answer the Rattlers touchdown with one of their own on a short reception by receiver Shaq Curenton to get within 16 points late in the third.
Arizona would march right down the field and score again, this time on a keeper by Drew Powell to extend the lead to 23 points early in the fourth period.
The Skulls would get back on the score board a few plays later on a touchdown reception by Jeremiah Harris to trim the lead back down to 16 points.
However, Powell would find the end zone again with his legs to extend the lead back up to 23 points with 10 minutes remaining.
Medlock would connect with Rico Brown a few snaps later for another short touchdown reception to get within 55-39.
A solid kick return by Jamal Miles would set the Rattlers up in favorable field position. RB Jabre Lolley would punch it in from a few yards out, further extending the lead.
The Skulls would score one final time on a touchdown pass by QB Matt Behrendt with 20 seconds left.
The Rattlers will be back in action this Saturday at 5:05 p.m. AZT as they face the Cedar Rapids River Kings in their final road game of the regular season. You can catch all the action live on YouTube.
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