Phoenix, Ariz.- The Arizona Rattlers will face off against the Spokane Empire this Friday at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. This week 13 matchup pits the top two teams in the Intense Conference against one another, with the winner earning the top spot in the conference.
This matchup will be the second time that these two teams go head to head this season. Last time they faced off was April 22 in Phoenix at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. In that matchup, there were eight lead changes, but in the end, the Rattlers lost by a score of 60-51. It was a high scoring game as both quarterbacks had over 200 yards and each threw for six touchdowns. Wide receiver Jamal Miles accumulated 144 yards on seven kickoffs and kicker Sawyer Petre was perfect on field goals and PATs. The Rattlers have not lost a game since they played the Empire.
Arizona enters this rematch coming off of a win against the Cedar Rapids Titans (1-10). Quarterback Cody Sokol went 9-16 with 67 yards, with two interceptions and one rushing touchdown. Running back Darrell Monroe in the last game had 65 yards rushing with three touchdowns. The Rattlers are currently ranked second in total offense in the Indoor Football League (IFL).
The defense had a major showing in their last game against Cedar Rapids, recording two interceptions, one from Arkeith Brown and the other from Allen Chapman. The Rattlers rank top five in total defense, with Brown, Chapman, and Adam Sauder leading the team. Sauder leads The Rattlers with 56.5 tackles, Brown and Chapman are tied for the most interceptions, and Chris McAllister leads the team in sacks.
On special teams, the Rattlers kicker Sawyer Petre ranks in the top five in scoring, averaging 8.1 points per game and amassing 81 points overall. Wide receiver Jamal Miles also ranks second in kick returns and kick return yardage with 736 yards on 37 returns, averaging 9.9 yards per game, the highest in the IFL.
Spokane’s previous game resulted in a loss against the league leading Sioux Falls Storm (9-1) by a score of 62-32. Despite the loss, the Empire still ranks top five in total offense. Quarterback Charles Dowdell went 8-19 with 84 yards and two touchdowns. Dowdell is ranked fifth in total yards and ranked second in touchdowns in the IFL.
The Empire have the number one ranked total defense in the league. They are led by linebacker Andrew Jackson, who has 9.5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, four sacks, one safety, and 52.5 total tackles.
Spokane’s kicker Craig Peterson is third in the IFL in scoring, with a total of 59 points, averaging 8.4 points a game. Their return man is running back Mulku Kalokoh, who currently ranks seventh with 390 yards on 22 returns, averaging 20.1 yards per game.
The Rattlers take on The Empire for the lead in the Intense Conference this Friday, May 12 at 7:00 PM PDT at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The game will be streamed on YouTube Live, with an encore presentation at 10:30 p.m. PDT on FOX Sports Arizona Plus.
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