The Arizona Rattlers (2-2) have won two games in a row, and will look to make it three as they go against the Wichita Falls Nighthawks (4-1), who are coming off of their first loss season last weekend. The game will be April 1st at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
This will be the first time the Rattlers and the Nighthawks have ever faced off against one another. Arizona is in their first season in the Indoor Football League (IFL), after playing their entire span in the Arena Football League (AFL) until now. Wichita Falls on the other hand is competing in their third season in the IFL.
The Rattlers offense has been able to maintain a successful running attack so far this year. They have the second best rushing offense in the IFL, averaging 98.5 yards per game. They also possess two of the top 10 rushers in the league in running back Darrell Monroe and quarterback Darron Thomas. Monroe has been able to hold the second spot despite only playing in two games so far this season. He has 140 total rushing yards in those two games.
On defense, the Nighthawks have taken pride in being able to stop the run through their five games this season. They are only giving up 50 rushing yards per game, and have given up a total of 250 yards on the ground. As a team they have totaled 17 tackles for a loss of 75 yards. This has been a big factor in them being able to keep opponents running games in check. Both leading tacklers for Wichita Falls come from the defensive back position in Kenny Walton and Kenny Veal.
So far this season Arizona’s defense have prided themselves in a different area than the Nighthawks. The Rattlers secondary has been successful in disrupting the passing game of all their opponents. Bandit Adam Sauder and veteran defensive backs, Arkeith Brown and Allen Chapman, have led Arizona to the top ranked pass defense in the league. The three players have led to six pass breakups and two interceptions for the team. The defensive line for the Rattlers has been able to record five sacks in their last two games played, veteran Chris McAllister has led the way with three sacks.
The Nighthawks on offense this season have gone and stuck with the gun slinger mentality. Quarterback Charles McCullum has thrown for over 1,000 yards already this season and has 21 touchdown passes to go along with it. His top target, wide out Jordan Jolly, has caught six of those 21 touchdowns from McCullum on 26 receptions. The Wichita Falls quarterback has successfully spread the ball around, with four different receivers having two or more touchdown passes.
The Rattlers will face the Nighthawks in Phoenix, Arizona this Saturday at 6:00 p.m. PDT. The game will be broadcasted on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and streamed on the Fox Sports Go App and YouTube Live on a tablet, smartphone, or streaming device and simulcast on 1580 The Fanatic and 99.3 FM.