RATTLERS ROLL PAST BARNSTORMERS
Arizona defeats Iowa 84-45; gets set for playoffs
Des Moines, IA – The Arizona Rattlers (15-3) showed why they are the West Division Champions with a convincing 84-45 win over the Iowa Barnstormers (6-11) in their final regular season game of the year on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Arena.
The Rattlers, who hold the best record in the Arena Football League, wasted no time using three offensive plays and a defensive play to take a commanding lead. On the first play of the game QB Nick Davila found WR Rod Windsor for a 45-yard touchdown to put the Arizona on top. Iowa QB JJ Raterink was then intercepted by Marquis Floyd on the Barnstormers first drive. It took Davila just two plays to turn that pick into points as he found Windsor again to make it 14-0. Raterink was again picked off, this time by Virgil Gray who returned it 39-yards for a touchdown. The Barnstormers would get on the board right before the end of the first quarter to make it a 21-6 game.
Gray recorded his second pick-six of the night on the Barnstormers opening drive of the second quarter, tying the League record for most interception returns in a game. Another defensive stop and a touchdown catch by WR Tysson Poots put Arizona up 35-6 with five minute left in the half. QB Jason Reader replaced Raterink and found Darius Reynolds but a second missed extra point only pulled them within 23. Davila would connect with Poots one more time before the end of the half to send Arizona into the locker room up 42-12.
Iowa came out full throttle in the second half, putting up two scores right out of the gate, including a 35-yard interception return from Jason Simpson to cut their deficit to 17. But Davila connected with both Poots and Windsor for their third touchdowns of the night to close out the third quarter leading 56-25.
After a Barnstormer TD, DB Arkeith Brown returned the ensuing kickoff 56-yards for a touchdown, Cliff Dukes revered a fumbled snap and Poots caught his fourth TD pass of the game, this time from QB Jason Murrietta. The teams exchanged TDs and another fumble recovery, this time by Anttaj Hawthorne, set up one last Arizona score. FB Odie Armstrong rushed it in and ran his streak to 16 games with a rushing touchdown to 16. Iowa found the end zone one last time to account for the final tally of 84-45.
Davila finished the game 16-of-22 for 222 yards and six touchdowns. Poots caught nine passes for four touchdowns while Windsor recorded six catches for three TDs. The Arizona defense put on a show with three interceptions, four sacks, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
Raterink was just 5-for-16 with no touchdowns and three interceptions for Iowa with Reader going 10-for-18 for 197 yards and four TDs.
The Rattlers now return home for the playoffs, where for the third season in a row the road to the ArenaBowl will run through the desert. It all kicks off on August 4th when the Rattlers face off against their longtime rival the San Jose SaberCats on Ak-Chin Field at the US Airways Center at 5pm. The two teams split the regular season matchups with Arizona dominating at home.
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.