Rattlers first shut out in team history
Cedar Rapids, Iowa – The Arizona Rattlers (12-0) defeated the Cedar Rapids River King (1-11) 56-0 to stay undefeated in the Indoor Football League (IFL).
The win gives the Rattlers a first-round bye in the 2019 IFL Playoffs, and home field advantage for the Conference Championship. Arizona and the Iowa Barnstormers (11-1) are both still in contention to clinch home field throughout.
The Rattlers defense was the story of the game. Arizona did not allow a score for the first time in team history. The closest Arizona ever came to a shutout was June 2nd, 1994, when the Rattlers defeated the Las Vegas Sting 50-7.
DL Nik D’Avanzo led the defensive front with eight total tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, a pass breakup, a fumble recovery, and a blocked field goal. DL Lance McDowdell also recorded 1.5 sacks, and blocked a field goal. As for the secondary, DB/LB Davontae Merriweather had eight tackles, one for a loss, and an interception which was returned for a touchdown. DB Kamron Johnson also hauled in a pick.
On offense, QB Drew Powell completed four-of-six passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 38 yards and another score. RB Roland Genesy led the team on the ground with 60 yards on 11 attempts for three touchdowns.
For Cedar Rapids, quarterbacks Dalton Oliver and Ben Wilkerson combined 9-of-22 passing for 80 yards and no touchdowns. Each threw an interception.
Cedar Rapids received the initial kickoff but were held to a field goal attempt that was blocked by DL Lance McDowdell. The Rattlers took advantage and three plays later, Powell would run it 10 yards for the score.
The River Kings were again forced into a field goal attempt on their second possession, which was missed wide-right. Arizona would then extend their lead to 14 off of a one-yard run by RB Roland Genesy.
Cedar Rapids again attempted a field goal on their third possession, this one was blocked by DL Nik D’Avanzo, and recovered by DB Phillip Henry. The Rattlers would take only five plays to score again, this time a one-yard run by Genesy.
The River Kings fourth possession resulted in a missed field goal, this one wide-right. Two plays later, Powell completed a pass for 45 yards and the touchdown.
Cedar Rapids failed to score on their final possession of the half to make the score 28-0; Rattlers.
Arizona defense did not let down in the second half. On the River Kings first possession of the second half, QB Oliver Dalton’s pass was intercepted by LB/DB Davontae Merriweather who returned it 26 yards for the score.
Cedar Rapids next possession resulted in a field goal attempt where, a botched snap gave the River Kings six yard-line. The Rattlers would score two plays later off of a one-yard run from WR Jamal Miles.
Arizona would score on the last play of the third quarter, when LB Ryan Langford forced a fumble on QB Ben Wilkerson, which was recovered by Cockrell, who returned it 38 yards for a touchdown.
The Rattlers would score one final time, a four-yard scamper from Genesy, to put the Rattlers up 56-0.
The Rattlers return home this Saturday, June 8th, to take on the Tucson Sugar Skulls for the fourth and final time this season. Kickoff is set for 5:00 p.m. AZT, and will be broadcast live on Your Phoenix CW 6 and 61.1, and streamed live on YouTube.
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