MESA, Ariz. – The Rattlers are sailing in uncharted waters, but the team is exactly where it hoped it would be. Arizona is 5-0 for the first time in its history, and going forward it does not appear that the choppy waters will be subsiding anytime soon. This week’s match-up features a much improved Utah Blaze team coming to the US Airways Center on April 23 at 7 p.m.
Last season Arizona swept both meetings against the Blaze. In their first meeting, QB NICK DAVILA threw for 335 yards and nine touchdowns, with six of his TD tosses hauled in by the eventual AFL Rookie of the Year, WR ROD WINDSOR. The Rattlers cruised to a record setting 83-58 victory in Salt Lake. The 83 points tied the franchise record for most points scored in a game.
The Rattlers defense stole the headlines in the second meeting, holding Utah to a mere 10 points-a-half, as Arizona enjoyed a comfortable 28-point victory (48-20). In holding the Blaze to 20 total points, the defense tied the franchise record for fewest points allowed in a game.
However, this season the Blaze has shown that they are not the same team from a year ago. A portion of their early season success can be directly attributed to the key offseason acquisition of Offensive Coordinator Matthew Sauk, former offensive coordinator of 2011 Arena Bowl Champion Spokane Shock.
Utah is 3-2 this season, and they are landing in Phoenix having just beaten the Spokane Shock 69-62 at home. With a victory, the Blaze looks to close within a game of Arizona for the top spot in the division, but a Rattlers win will continue to solidify their stronghold over the division.