The Arizona Rattlers are in position to take control of the National Conference on Saturday after a commanding 80-28 win over the Portland Steel (0-1) on Friday at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore.
The Rattlers took the lead early with a pick six from Arkeith Brown (the AFL Highlight of the Game), and never looked back. The 52-point margin win over the Steel is the largest in Rattlers history.
The Rattlers offense already looked to be in mid-season form, with quarterback Nick Davila throwing five touchdowns and rushing for another. Wide receiver Rod Windsor caught four touchdowns. Mykel Benson scored three more touchdowns on the ground and added a fourth in the air.
The defense also put some points on the board. Along with Brown’s returned interception, defensive end Damien Borel recovered a fumble in the endzone for six, and wide receiver/jack linebacker Kerry Reed also returned an interception for a score.
The Rattlers defense was stifling. The defensive line earned six sacks, Borel and defensive end Vasquez each got two. Borel and Vasquez earned the Riddell Defensive Player of the Week award. The secondary also pitched in, with five pass breakups to go along with the two picks.
The Rattlers will now face an opponent in the LA KISS that is much improved from last season. They have added quarterback Nathan Stanley, who has given Arizona trouble in the past. The KISS also had success last weekend, knocking off the Jacksonville Sharks.
The winner of Saturday’s game will be in the drivers seat for the National Conference.
The game will be played at the Honda Center, Saturday, April 9th at 8:00 p.m. PDT. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2, and streamed online on espn3.com or the WatchESPN app on a tablet or smartphone.