Stockton, Cali. – The World Champion Arizona Rattlers (15-5) fell one play short when they dropped their first postseason game in four years to the San Jose SaberCats (19-1) in Stockton, California by a score of 67-70.
The Arizona Rattlers and San Jose SaberCats fought for 60 minutes through seven ties and seven lead changes. A controversial touchdown with eight seconds left in the game gave the edge to the SaberCats.
The Rattlers had a four point lead and with eight seconds left on the clock, when SaberCats’ quarterback Erik Meyer threw a six yard pass to wide receiver Reggie Gray. Gray seemed to have fumbled the ball one yard shy of the end zone which was recovered by the Riddell Defensive Player of the Game Jeremy Kellem. The play however, was ruled a touchdown, and with there not being a sideline view for the official, the play stood.
“I felt that we outplayed (San Jose),” head coach and general manager Kevin Guy said. “We needed to make the play, and we made the play. We made the play and didn’t get credit.”
The Rattlers attempted a last second, 53-yard field goal from kicker Alex Zendejas, that went wide right, to end the game.
The first half truly went back and forth as both teams scored on every possession. The Rattlers scored first with a 14 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Davila to wide receiver Rod Windsor. Windsor had had four first half touchdown receptions and was the J Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game. Meyer responded on the next play with a 42 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Darius Reynolds. The rest of the half continued with the Rattlers scoring and the SaberCats responding. Davila ended the half with 12 completions out of 19 attempts for 137 yards and 4 touchdowns. Meyer, who was the Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game, had 11 completions out of 17 attempts, 197 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The SaberCats started the third quarter with the ball and took advantage with a 41 yard pass from Meyer to Reynolds which allowed them to take the first lead of the game. The Rattlers quickly responded with a six yard pass from Davila to wide receiver Chase Deadder. The third quarter ended with the first defensive stop of the game when Arizona forced San Jose to a turnover on downs.
The Rattlers were able to capitalize early in the fourth when Davila threw a nine yard pass to Deadder to retake the lead. Zendejas’ kick was missed. The game again went back and forth as the Rattlers and the SaberCats took turns with the lead, as San Jose ended up on top.
The Rattlers will have to wait for next season to try again at another ArenaBowl. As for the SaberCats, Sunday afternoon’s game between the Philadelphia Soul and the Jacksonville Sharks will determine who their opponent is. Either way, the game will be on Saturday, August 29th at the Stockton Arena, and will be nationally televised on ESPN.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
Arizona 14 21 6 26 67
San Jose 14 21 6 29 70
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Erik Meyer (SJ)
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Jeremy Kellem (AZ)
Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: Rod Windsor (AZ)
Cutters Catch of the Game: Darius Reynolds 21-yard TD 2nd QT
AFL Highlight of the Game: Darius Reynolds 41-yard TD 3rd QT
About the Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers have won three straight ArenaBowl championship games and are proud members of the Arena Football League (AFL). ArenaBowl XXVII marked the team’s ninth appearance in the Championship game, winning in 2014, 2013, 2012, 1997 and 1994. For tickets, call 602-514-TDTD (8383), or visit www.azrattlers.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 22nd, 2015
Contact: Peter Garbow, (989) 395-3789, firstname.lastname@example.org