PHOENIX – The Arizona Rattlers (15-0) are one win away from capturing their seventh World Championship and their first undefeated season in the franchise’s 27 seasons of operation. The only obstacle standing in Arizona’s path to another United Bowl title is the visiting Sioux Falls Storm (13-3).
The Rattlers and Storm have met in the postseason in each of the last three seasons. Arizona defeated Sioux Falls 50-41 in the 2017 United Bowl inside the Denny Sanford Premier Center to give them their sixth championship banner. They faced off last year in the Intense Conference Championship at Talking Stick Resort Arena with the Storm winning 69-68 in overtime.
This United Bowl will feature the two most storied programs in the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Rattlers have been represented in the championship game seven of the last nine seasons dating back to when they were still a part of the Arena Football League (AFL).
For the Sioux Falls Storm, Saturday will mark their tenth straight United Bowl appearance. They are also seeking their first championship since winning six consecutive titles from 2011-2016.
Arizona punched their ticket to the 2019 United Bowl with a 62-45 victory over the Nebraska Danger in the Intense Conference Championship inside the Gila River Arena in Glendale two weeks ago.
Rattlers starting QB Drew Powell led the offense by completing 12-of-16 passes for 110 yards and two scores. Powell also added a game-high 91 yards on the ground while also rushing for three touchdowns. RB Jabre Lolley got the start in the backfield and converted 14 carries into 81 yards and three touchdowns, while WR Jarrod Harrington had two scoring receptions in the win.
Meanwhile, the Storm traveled to the Wells Fargo Arena and defeated the Iowa Barnstormers 52-50 in the United Conference Championship to earn their spot in the United Bowl. Sioux Falls trailed by as many as 15 at one point, but rallied after Barnstormers starting QB Daquan Neal was forced out of the game in the fourth quarter.
QB Lorenzo Brown Jr. threw for 208 yards and five touchdowns without committing a turnover for the Storm. WR Damian Ford caught six passes for a season-high 114 yards while also scoring twice. WRs Kent Shelby, Damond Powell, and Brandon Shepherd each caught one touchdown pass as well. RB Calen Campbell started and accounted for 54 yards of offense in the Conference Championship.
The Rattlers defense was able to hold the Danger offense to only 17 first-half points and 195 total yards. LB Ryan Langford led the team with six tackles while DL Chris McAllister and DL Nik D’Avanzo combined for 3.5 sacks. DBs Dillion Winfrey and Davontae Merriweather both intercepted a pass in the triumph.
As for the Storm defense, DB Trey Wafford led Sioux Falls with 10 tackles and one pass breakup in the victory over Iowa. DB Lorenzo White amassed eight tackles and DB Joseph Blount added one fumble recovery as well.
The 2019 United Bowl between the Arizona Rattlers and the Sioux Falls Storm is slated for a 6:05 p.m. kickoff inside the Gila River Arena in Glendale. All the action can be seen live on FOX Sports Arizona Plus, the FOX Sports GO app, FoxSportsGO.com, and also on YouTube.
For more information, head to azrattlers.com.
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We will overcome every hurdle that is placed in front of us, just like the legend Rod Windsor! Stay strong Rattler… https://t.co/VZPgUvdXXN