Rattlers (10-2) Overpower Orlando (7-6), 55-35
Sunday June 21, 2015
Phoenix, Ariz. – Two first place teams entered the Snake Pit Saturday night. It was the back-to-back-to-back defending world champion Arizona Rattlers who came away with the 55-35 win in front of 11,673 fans.
Both Arizona and Orlando came into the game with the third and fourth scoring offenses respectively, but it was Arizona’s defense that shined in Saturday’s matchup. The Rattlers held the Predators to a season low 35 points.
“I thought our defense played outstanding tonight.” said head coach and general manager Kevin Guy. “I believe we had seven stops tonight, five were on fourth down.”
Defensive back Jeremy Kellem pushed his streak of at least one interception in a game to five, when he picked off quarterback Bernard Morris in the third quarter. Defensive back Arkeith Brown also forced a turnover in the third when he stripped the ball from Orlando wide receiver Larry Brackens after he was held up by defensive back Ben Wells.
“We put Ben Wells in there tonight, and I thought he did an outstanding job,” said Guy. “He gave us very good minutes.”
Arizona quarterback Nick Davila has yet to throw an interception since his return off injury reserve. He also threw for 221 yards and 6 touchdowns which earned him the Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game award.
Defensive back AJ Cruz started on offensive in Saturday’s game at wide receiver and once again showed why he is dangerous when he gets his hands on the ball. Cruz ended the night with two touchdowns receiving and another touchdown on the ground. He also had two tackles on the kickoff, and averaged 22.5 yards on kickoff return. For all his contributions, he earned the J Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game award.
Morris, on the other hand, had a much different night. He was under pressure the entire game and was sacked three times. Two of which was by defensive end Michael McAdoo which earned him the Riddell Defensive Player of the Game award. Overall, Morris was only able to complete 50 percent of his passes.
“I thought our pass rush did a great job as well,” Guy said. “I don’t believe we let (Morris) out of the pocket. I believe we shut those plays down.”
The Rattlers’ next game will be Saturday, June 27th at 7:00 PM when they visit the surging Los Angeles KISS (3-6). Arizona defeated the KISS in week five by a score of 68-30. The game will be streamed live online on ESPN3.com or the WatchESPN app on a tablet or smartphone.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Nick Davila (AZ)
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Michael McAdoo (AZ)
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: AJ Cruz (AZ)
Cutters Catch of the Game: Rod Windsor (AZ) 3rd Q 32 yards TD Catch
AFL Highlight of the Game: AJ Cruz (AZ) 4th Q TD run
About the Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers have won three straight ArenaBowl championship games and are proud members of the Arena Football League (AFL). ArenaBowl XXVII marked the team's ninth appearance in the Championship game, winning in 2014, 2013, 2012, 1997 and 1994. For tickets, call 602-514-TDTD (8383), or visit www.azrattlers.com.