Rattlers Defense Gives Them Edge Over LV
PHOENIX – In front of a loud 11,891 fans, Arizona’s Defense made Las Vegas take notice as Arizona won 57 to 43.
Before the coin toss, Tysson Poots (who was a former Arizona Rattlers for the 2013 and 2014 season) got a quick hug from Ron Shurts. Arizona ended up winning the toss and differed to the 2nd half.
Arizona’s offense was stagnant with Davila (19/28 for 271 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions) throwing 14 passes in the 1st half. 7 of those passes were caught, with 3 of them going for touchdowns. Rod Windsor (8 catches for 113 yards and 4 touchdowns) caught all 3 of the 1st half touchdowns. 2 of the passes ended up being intercepted by Las Vegas, which broke Nick’s streak of 4 games without an interception. The 1st touchdown pass was deep for 31 yards, the 2nd touchdown pass was for 11 yards, and the 3rd was a short pass that was lead with blockers and the end result was a foot race that Windsor won.
Coach Guy said “Nick didn’t seem to be in a rhythm in the 1st half. He saw things better in the 2nd half. We gotta get on the same page. We didn’t have a good week of practice on offense and it carried over to the 1st half of the game. We had a little talk at halftime and we made adjustments.”
Arizona’s Defense held Las Vegas to 14 points in the 1st half, with defensive stops coming by way of 2 interceptions (picks were by Arkeith Brown and Marquis Floyd), 1 turnover on downs, and 1 blocked Field Goal (block was by Anttaj Hawthorne and the ball landed right in Jeremy Kellem’s hands). Cliff Dukes said about the defense,
“We looked at their tendencies. When they brought certain people in, we knew what we’d have to do against them from studying film all week and we played them already two times.”
Arizona started the 2nd half with the ball and both offense and defense were clicking. Nick Davila found AJ Cruz (3 catches for 31 yards and 1 touchdown), Kerry Reed (4 catches for 37 yards and 2 touchdowns), and Dan Buckner (3 catches for 82 yards and 1 touchdowns) for touchdowns. Buckner beat the coverage for a long pass for a touchdown.
“It starts with me, I need to come ready to play,” Davila said. “In a quarterback in this league you need to start fast. I wasn’t ready in the 1st half. We want to make every game a track meet and when you throw interception you can’t make it a track meet. The defense played outstanding all game and we got to get better with the offensive side of the ball and it starts with me. We’ll go back to the drawing board tomorrow.”
With Las Vegas’ possessions, Havrilla was sacked twice which resulted in turnovers. The 1st was by Cliff Dukes which caused a fumble (which was recovered by AJ Cruz) and the 2nd was by Tyre Glasper (which was in the end zone for a safety). In the 4th Quarter, Davila found Windsor and Reed for touchdowns. Even though Las Vegas scored with all their 4th Quarter possessions, Arizona’s Defense was still all over Vegas’ Havrilla, with sacks by Michael McAdoo and Anthon McCloud.
Before the game, the Arizona Rattlers honored a local police officer with a custom jersey due to his work with the team and stadium. In the middle of the 1st Quarter, mascots from the Arizona Coyotes (Howler), the Arizona Cardinals (Big Red), Phoenix Mercury (Scorcher), and the Phoenix Suns (the Gorilla) helped celebrate the Arizona Rattlers mascot’s (Stryker D. Rattler) birthday.
Offensive Player of the Game: Rod Windsor (Arizona Rattlers)
Defensive Player of the Game: Marquis Floyd (Arizona Rattlers)
Playmaker of the Game: AJ Cruz (Arizona Rattlers)
Catch of the Game: Dan Buckner’s 48 yard Touchdown catch (Arizona Rattlers)
Highlight of the Game: Tyre Glasper’s Sack and Safety (Arizona Rattlers)