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Talons Fall 70-21 to Rattlers

Sunday June 9, 2013

 SAN ANTONIO – The 2012 Central Division Champion San Antonio Talons (5-6) fell to the top ranked Arizona Rattlers (11-1) in front of a crowd of 8,047 at the Alamodome on Saturday night. The loss ended the Talons hopes of climbing above .500 in Week 12, and was brought on largely in part by six interceptions thrown by the home team. Quarterback Nick Fanuzzi, who came on in relief of Xavier Lee, finished 9 for 25 with 108 yards and one touchdown. Lee, coming back in later in the game finished 10 for 23 with 133 yards. Arizona’s Nick Davila proved to be nearly unstoppable with 290 yards and five touchdowns on the night before backup Jason Murrietta came on in relief.

The first quarter went extremely well for the Rattlers beginning with a fortunate pass bounced off of the end zone wall that ultimately found the hands of receiver Jared Perry for the first touchdown of the night, giving the Rattlers early momentum. The Talons offense turned over on four straight downs, and Nick Davila found Rod Windsor for an 18 yard touchdown pass to up the lead to 14-0 midway through the first quarter.

Things only got worse for the Talons in the first quarter as Lee’s deep pass intended for Jomo Wilson was intercepted by Arkeith Brown. It took the Rattler offense only three plays to secure their third straight touchdown of the first quarter as Davila found Ron Windsor with a six yard pass late in the first quarter and upped the score up to 21-0.

In his first game back in Talons uniform, things started rocky for Brent Holmes. After catching a pass for a gain of 10 yards, Holmes was stripped of the football, and San Antonio gave the ball away multiple times in the first quarter. Looking for a spark in offense, Coach Johnson entered quarterback Nick Fanuzzi late in the first quarter. He didn’t disappoint, completing his first pass as a Talon to Brent Holmes for a gain of 15 yards. San Antonio’s first five offensive drives yielded only one first down and a total of 18 yards.

Former Talon and current rushing yard record holder, Odie Armstrong started the second quarter in true fashion by waltzing into the endzone with a five yard rushing touchdown. Garrett Lindholm’s kick added to the 28-0 deficit. Despite the score, the Talons defense refused to give in. An interception by Andre Jones in the end zone gave Talons fans a glimmer of hope and a glimpse of the true team, but to no avail. San Antonio’s offense failed to capitalize on the turnover forced by the defense, and the score remained a distant 28-0. With a minute left in the half, Davila hit Perry with a deep 34 yard touchdown resulting in a comfortable 35-0 lead. Desperately needing to score to end the half, Fanuzzi led the offense on a long drive that ended with a three yard touchdown run by “Tank” Cook, cutting the lead to 35-7 at the half.

The Talons came out for the third quarter looking eerily similar to the first half, beginning with a turnover. The Rattlers made San Antonio pay for their mistake as Davila found backup quarterback Jason Murrietta for yet another score, extending the lead to 42-7. Midway through the third quarter, Xavier Lee returned from injury and led the Talons down field for a touchdown chipping away at the 42-14 lead. Just when it looked like the Talons might be headed in the direction of a comeback, another interception was thrown, this time by Xavier Lee. Arizona took advantage when backup quarterback Murrietta found Perry once again extending the score to 49-14 going into the fourth quarter.

In just two short plays, the Rattler offense continued to pound their way into the end zone. Murrietta’s deep pass was good to Kerry Reed for the first touchdown of the fourth quarter. This contest proved to be plagued by interceptions when Fanuzzi threw his second intended for Sale Key, but fell into the hands of Jeremy Kellem who returned the ball 24 yards into the end zone for the ninth Rattler touchdown of the night. Hometown favorite Brent Holmes hooked up with Fanuzzi for a 19 yard touchdown pass, cutting the lead to 63-21. Arizona wasn’t done yet. Murrietta found Windsor for the tenth and final touchdown of the night, bringing the final score to 70-21 over the home team. San Antonio returns to action Saturday in Rockford, IL where they take on central division rival Rush at the BMP Harris Bank Arena at 7:00 p.m.

The San Antonio Talons are in their second season in the Arena Football League (AFL). The team was moved to San Antonio from Tulsa, Okla. in 2012 and won the AFL’s Central Division title, as well as hosted their first AFL playoff game in the 2012 season. For more information or to ask about season tickets please call 210.227.TEAM.

Rod Windsor

Jeremy Kellem

Jared Perry

Brent Holmes 19 yard touchdown pass from Fanuzzi in the fourth quarter

Jared Perry’s 45 yard touchdown reception to end the third quarter