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Rattlers knock off Soul to open 2013 season

Sunday March 24, 2013

Arizona defeats Philadelphia in home opener

Last season ended with the Arizona Rattlers (1-0) bringing home the Foster Trophy for the third time in franchise history, setting up what was bound to be an exciting rematch as they faced off against ArenaBowl XXV foes, the Philadelphia Soul (0-1). The outcome was much the same as the Rattlers knocked off the Soul 66-52 in front of 8,524 fans on Ak-Chin Field at the Us Airways Center on Saturday night.

The opening possession went to the Soul and QB Dan Raudabaugh (22-34, 323 Yds, 5TD, 1 INT). His first three pass attempts were incomplete, but on fourth down he found an open WR Anthony “Tiger” Jones (9 Rec, 169 Yds, 3 TD) to put the Soul on the board first. Rattlers QB Nick Davila (22-34, 304 Yds, 7 TD, 1 Rush TD) would not let too much time roll off the clock before he threw his first TD of the night to WR Jared Perry (6 Rec, 91 Yds, 2 TD). Raudabaugh would toss two more TD’s in the first quarter, including another to Jones, while Davila would throw another to WR Maurice Purify (10 Rec, 141 Yds, 3 TD). The Soul led 19-14 at the end of the first quarter.

The scoreboard continued to light up in the second quarter. Raudabaugh would throw is 4th TD of the night to WR Alvance Robinson (5 Rec, 97 Yds, 2 TD), but not before FB Derrick Ross (18 Yds, 3 TD) rushed for his first TD of the season. Davila helped his cause in the second quarter by tossing two more touchdowns, and rushing one in as well. After two quarters of play the Rattlers went into the locker room with a 35-32 lead.

Davila and company started off somewhat slow to begin the third quarter, but he eventually found Perry in the end zone for his second touchdown of the night. Then it was all Arizona after that. The big guys up front for the Rattlers forced Ross to fumble, and that led to three more points for Rattlers. Davila would add another touchdown late in the third, and Ross would rush his second one in as well, but after the three the Rattlers still had the lead, 52-39.

The Soul started the fourth quarter with excellent field position, but that all came to an extreme halt when DL Marcus Pittman picked up a Ross fumble and returned it 44 yards for touchdown. After another Ross touchdown the Soul recovered a successful onside kick, and quickly put up another score closing the gap to 59-52. The next onside kick did not have the same outcome, and that turned into another touchdown from Davila to Purify, and put the rattlers up 66-52 with just over a minute left in the game. Rattlers DB Marquis Floyd sealed the game by picking off Raudabaugh in the end-zone with just over 30 seconds left. The Rattlers once again walked off the field victorious against the Soul, 66-52.

Next week the Rattlers head to Utah to face the Blaze on Friday, March, 29th.

Russell Athletics Offensive Player of the Game:
Nick Davila, Arizona

Riddell Defensive Player of the Game:
Virgil Gray, Arizona

J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game:
Anthony Jones, Philadelphia

Cutters Catch of Game:
Arizona, Kerry Reed 13yd TD pass with 2L45 to play in the 3rd quarter

AFL Highlight of the Game:
Arizona, Marcus Pittman 44yd fumble recovery in the 4th quarter

About the Arizona Rattlers:

The Arizona Rattlers are the 2012 ArenaBowl XXV World Champions and are proud members of the Arena Football League (AFL). ArenaBowl XXV marked the Rattlers seventh appearance in the AFL Championship Game where they have earned Arena Bowl titles in 1994, 1997 and 2012. For 2013 season ticket information, please call (602) 514-TDTD (8383) or visit www.azrattlers.com.