The Arizona Rattlers (2-1) host the only undefeated team left in the league, the Nebraska Danger (3-0) on Saturday March 24th, at 6:05 p.m. at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Rattlers are coming off a 37-31 win over the Green Bay Blizzard (0-4), while the Danger defeated the Cedar Rapids Titans (1-3) 50-41 in their previous game.
The Rattlers win last week over the Blizzard came down to the final possession, before defensive back Allen Chapman’s game clinching interception. Chapman would have two interceptions in the game.
The Danger defeated the Titans behind quarterback Damien Fleming’s 127 passing yards, and four total touchdowns. With less than a minute to go and the Danger’s lead down to two, Danger wide receiver Eric Thomas returned the onside kick attempt to secure the victory.
This matchup will feature the league’s best rushing attack against the league’s best rushing defense. The Rattlers average 114 yards per game on the ground while the Danger only allow 67 yards per game. The Rattlers are coming off a dominant rushing game last week in which they put up 121 rushing yards, which featured 88 yards and three touchdowns from running back Shadrach Thornton. While the Danger only allowed four rushing yards in their last game.
Nebraska is sitting second in the league offensively with 51 points per game, while the Rattlers defense only allows 34 points per game. The Rattlers defense is coming off a strong outing against the Blizzard, a game in which they held their opponents to under 40 points for the third straight time. Arizona’s defense came up big in the final two minutes when they forced and recovered a fumble, and a game clinching interception. The Rattlers are led defensively by DB Arkeith Brown, who has 16 tackles on the year, and one interception. The defensive line is anchored by Joshua Gordon and Chris McAllister who have 16 tackles and 15 tackles on the year respectively.
The Rattlers offensive line will be put to the test on Saturday against the league leading defensive front of the Nebraska Danger. The Rattlers have only allowed one sack on the year putting them first in the IFL, while the Danger lead the league on defense with 11 sacks. For the Rattlers, they will have to keep an eye on the Danger’s Myke Tavarres who leads the league in tackles with 31, and defensive lineman Xzavie Jackson who has three sacks on the year, also leading the league in that category.
Offensively for the Danger, Damien Fleming is leading the league in yards per rush with an average of 5.4 yards while also being a threat through the air with 411 passing yards and 9 touchdowns. Fleming sits second in the league in rushing yards per game with 41.3 yards per game.
The game is scheduled for a 6:05 p.m. PDT kickoff at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. It can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona Rattlers channel, DirecTV channel 686-2 and DISH channel 412-36. Saturday’s matchup will also be streamed on the Fox Sports Go app, and YouTube live, just search for “IFL”, and will be simulcast on 1580 the Fanatic.
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