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Thunder Make Playoffs Despite 65-55 Loss in Arizona

Sunday July 20, 2014

 Clinch Playoff Berth With Los Angeles Loss Saturday

 

PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Portland Thunder (5-12) got their playoff practice in down in the desert, but the Arizona Rattlers (15-2) walked away from the game with the win, 66-55.

The Thunder defense started the game off right, with a rare stop of the Arizona offense on downs. The offense failed to capitalize, however, as they turned the ball over on downs in return. The Rattlers scored on their next drive and began to put the pressure on the Thunder offense to keep up.

The Thunder did manage to keep up through halftime – while the Rattlers took a 24-20 lead heading into the break, the Thunder capitalized on their first drive of the second half with a touchdown pass to Jamar Howard to take a 26-24 lead, but the game got away from the Thunder when the Rattlers held Portland on fourth down to take the ball, then hit on a 47-yard touchdown pass to assume control.

Portland’s offense found some late success with Darron Thomas at the helm, scoring a couple of touchdowns in the game’s final minute and adding a two-point conversion with the clock expired to provide the game’s final margin.

Duane Brooks had a breakout game, catching 12 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown, while Douglas McNeil III continued to put the team in the end zone, picking up four touchdowns on nine receptions for 104 yards. Kyle Rowley finished the game with 311 yards and six touchdowns, but his one interception was a costly one, as Allen Chapman ran it back for a defensive touchdown to push the lead to three possessions.

Rod Windsor led the Rattlers with 11 receptions for 171 yards and four touchdowns as he extended his league-leading touchdown total to 43. Tysson Poots chipped in with seven receptions for 60 yards and three touchdowns.

Despite the loss, the Thunder earned a playoff spot this weekend as the San Antonio Talons defeated the Los Angeles KISS, 72-65, disqualifying the KISS from the playoff race. Portland will head to Arizona for a rematch with these Rattlers on August 3rd.

AFL Records: In this game, the Thunder set the new season records for penalties (201, breaking Milwaukee’s record of 193 in 2010) and penalty yardage (1,306, breaking Tampa Bay’s record of 1,293 in 2010).

The Thunder return home for the regular season finale against the Spokane Shock on July 26 at 7 p.m. For all the latest news and discussion on the Portland Thunder, follow the team on Facebook (facebook.com/PDXThunder), Twitter and Instagram (@PDXThunder).

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Wide receiver Rod Windsor (Az)
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Defensive back Jeremy Kellem (Az)
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: Defensive back Arkeith Brown (Az)
Cutters Catch of the Game: Wide receiver Rod Windsor (Az), 23-yard over-the-wall touchdown catch, 1:00 left in first quarter
AFL Highlight of the Game: Defensive back Allen Chapman (Az), 40-yard interception return for touchdown, 5:15 left, third quarter
About the Portland Thunder

The Portland Thunder are a professional arena football team of the Arena Football League from Portland, Oregon, USA. They play their home games at the Moda Center. 2014 marks the franchise’s first season. Tickets and Sponsorships are available for the 2014 season. For more information, email us at info@portlandthunder.com or call 503-773-4235.