– Seats inside the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona started to fill well before kick off for tonight’s game against the Chicago Rush. The Arizona Rattlers left it all out on the field tonight with 7,280 people in attendance. Coming into this game the focus was to be on defense with two of Arizona’s stars, DB Virgil Gray, and LB Kevin McCullough, returning to the lineup.
The Rush received the ball to start the game with back up QB Luke Drone (28-51, 396 Yds, 4 TD, 1 Int) taking the snaps. Despite his first pass was nearly intercepted, on the very next play he would hit WR Jared Perry for a 35-yard pass, which would set up the Rush’s first touch down of the night. The ensuing kickoff would be returned 54 yards by Rattlers WR Trandon Harvey (3 Rec, 51 Yds, 2 TD), 7-7 with 10:52 left in the first quarter.
Rattlers QB Nick Davila (16-22, 213 Yds, 6 TD) and Rush QB Drone would trade touchdowns with each of their next possession. Then there would be a Kevin McCullough sighting, as he would pick off Drone’s pass, and return it 8-yards for a TD. Make that 2 TD’s for the Rattlers defense and special teams. Drone would toss one last TD pass to end the first quarter to bring the score to 21 all.
The Rattlers would continue their campaign in the second quarter, as Davila would find Harvey for a 9-yard TD, putting them up by 7. The Rush would march all they way down to the Rattlers 3 yard line, only to be denied on 4th down. It wouldn’t take long for Davila to throw his 3rd touchdown of the night. He found WR Glen Fox (9 Rec, 107 Yds, 4 TD) in the end zone, with 3:59 left in the 2nd, putting the Rattlers up 35-21. Drone, and the Rush would respond with a quick TD pass, but would fail at recovering an onside kick, leaving the Rattlers with excellent field position with just under a minute left on the clock. The Rattlers would fail to put in the end zone, turning it over on downs, with :37 left in the half. The Rush would have to settle for FG to end the first half, still down, 35-31 to the Rattlers.
The Rattlers would start the 2nd half from their own 20, after the Rush K Mike Salerno kicked it out of bounds. Davila would take the Rattlers downfield, and find a wide-open Fox, for his 3rd receiving TD of the night, and put the Rattlers up 42-31. The Rattlers Defense would strike again when LB Tyre Glasper would recover a Drone fumble at the Arizona 11 yard line. It would only take a few plays for Glen Fox to find the end zone once again for his 4th TD reception of the night, increasing the Rattlers lead to 49-31. Once again the Rattlers defense would show up and shut down the Rush offense, forcing them to turn it over on downs, deep in their own territory. The Rattlers FB Odie Armstrong (3 Rush, 11 Yds, 1 TD) would put it in the end zone the very next play, and just add on to the lead. The Rattlers would hold the Rush to a scoreless third quarter, and start the 4th up, 56-31.
We said defense would be the focus of this game, and that really matters in the 4th quarter. The defense would force the Rush to turn it over on downs once again to start 4th quarter, and the Rattlers would take over at midfield. Nick Davila would find a well covered WR Markee White (4 Rec, 84 Yds, 2 TD) in the end zone for his first TD reception of the season, putting the Rattlers up 63-31. With just under 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter the Rush would finally score their first points of the 2nd half, but miss the extra point, 63-37 Arizona. It would only take one play for back up QB Jason Murrietta (2-3, 58 Yds, 2 TD) to toss his first TD pass to a wide open Trandon Harvey, adding another 7 to the score, 70-37 Rattlers. The Rush would add a late touchdown, and Murrietta would toss his 2nd TD of the night to White, closing out the game with a score of 77-34 Arizona.