San Antonio – The Talons (14-3) proclaimed their dominance in the League and beat the Rattlers (12-5), 62-61 to extend their winning streak to 11 consecutive victories on Saturday night in the Alamodome.
The two teams first match up this season resulted in a 68-34 Talons’ loss on April 22 in Arizona.
This win not only reconciles the Talons’ former defeat, but secures their No. 1 position in the rankings, and a home-field advantage for the first and second round of the playoff games.
“It means a lot to the city and the franchise to be able to host two playoff games here,” said LB Jamar Ransom.
Arizona totaled 17 penalties for the night costing the Rattlers 126 yards, while San Antonio received 13 penalties totaling 77 yards.
The teams battled back and forth until the last minute of the second quarter when San Antonio fumbled on kick off return, and Arizona returned the ball for a touchdown to bring the score to 35-45. The Talons then missed a field goal attempt leaving no time left on the clock, but a penalty during that play gave Arizona the ball back for one additional down. The Rattlers’ kicker, Chris Gould, kicked a 19-yard field goal to bring the score to 35-48 going into half time.
The Talons answered back in the third quarter with back-to-back touchdowns. San Antonio’s defense held Arizona from scoring a single point for the entire quarter. Wes Mauia tallied another sack for the season against quarterback Nick Davila, who threw for five touchdowns, 313 yards, and two interceptions.
San Antonio’s defense was essential in the last quarter of the game with interceptions by Dwight Mclean and another by Kenny Fontenette, Riddell Defensive Player of the Game.
The game’s nail-biter ending came as San Antonio missed their second field goal attempt of the night. Arizona received the ball and quickly marched the down field for a touchdown to bring the score to 62-61. The Rattlers’ attempted a two-point conversion to tie the game, but was stopped by the Talons defense. San Antonio received the ball and ran one final play up the middle of the field to let the clock expire and lock up the win.
“In this game of arena football and in as many years as I’ve been a part of it, I’ve been in a lot of battles similar to this,” said QB Aaron Garcia. “But with the significance of playing for home field advantage here in San Antonio in our first year here, that made this win tonight extra special.”
Garcia, National Guard MVP of the game, threw for seven touchdowns, 307 yards and one interception. Garcia spread plays to multiple receivers. Jason Willis, Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game, had three touchdowns, Derek Lee had one touchdown, Jomo Wilson, AFL Playmaker of the Game, had two touchdowns and Tank Cook had one touchdown.
National Guard MVP of the Game:SA Aaron Garcia
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game:SA Jason Willis
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game:SA Kenny Fontenette
JLS Ironman of the Game:SA Stephan Demos
AFL Playmaker of the Game:SA Jomo Wilson
Cutters Catch of the Game:SA Derek Lee’s fourth quarter catch in the end zone
Spalding Highlight of the Game: SA Dwight Mclean’s fourth quarter interception