Arizona Weathers Tampa Bay’s Storm In Home Opener
PHOENIX – In front of 14,872 screaming fans for their home opener, the Arizona Rattlers (3-0) routed the Tampa Bay Storm (0-3) 60 to 27.
Tampa Bay started with the ball, but Jason Boltus (11 of 37 for 186 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception) couldn’t connect with a wide receiver which caused Tampa Bay to attempt a Field Goal. The field goal went wide left into the crowd and gave Arizona the ball on their 20 yard line. Nick Davila (28 of 37 for 248 yards and 7 touchdowns) quickly lead Arizona down the field and found Rod Windsor (13 catches for 141 yards and 4 touchdowns). Alex Zendejas missed the PAT which kept the score at 6 to 0 Arizona’s lead. On Tampa Bay’s next possession, Boltus completed a pass, but it was called back due to a flag. Tampa Bay attempted another field goal, but the 2nd one was short and to the right. Arizona drove down the field and Davila found Maurice Purify (7 catches for 44 yards and 2 touchdowns) for Purify’s 1st touchdown of the season. With Zendejas’ PAT being good, Arizona was up 13 to 0. Tampa Bay had the ball to end the quarter, and their Quarterback Jason Boltus had 2 completions, but Tampa Bay was driving down the field.
To start the 2nd quarter, Boltus found T.T Toliver (2 catches for 36 yards and 1 touchdown) for a 30 yard touchdown. Kicker Craig Peterson’s 1st PAT was blocked by Tyre Glasper, but Tampa Bay was on the scoreboard down 13 to 6. Arizona failed to convert a 4th and 1 with a run by Mykel Benson (4 rushes for 2 yards and 3 catches for 19 yards), so Tampa Bay got the ball back on their 9 yard line. On the 2nd play of the drive, Boltus passed the ball to Philli Barnett (4 catches for 70 yards and 1 touchdown) for a 41 yard touchdown. Peterson made the PAT attempt to tie the game at 13. Davila kept spreading the ball around, this time finding Chase Deadder (4 catches for 37 yards and 1 touchdown) for a 3 play drive. Zendejas made the PAT, bringing the score to 20 to 13, Arizona was back in the lead. Arizona found the scoreboard again, this time on defense, with Tyre Glasper grabbing a fumbled ball by Boltus and running the ball 32 yards for a touchdown. Zendejas missed his 2nd PAT making the score 26 to 13. Tampa Bay’s next drive ended on a 4th and 10 with Glasper sacking Boltus for a 9 yard loss. Davila found Purify in the end zone to extend Arizona’s lead before halftime. Zendejas extended the lead further by making the PAT, making the score 33 to 13. Tampa Bay’s final possession of the half ended with an incomplete pass.
Arizona started the 3rd Quarter receiving the kickoff from Tampa Bay and drove down the field. Davila eventually found Windsor in the endzone again and Zendejas made the PAT adding to the score for a 40 to 13 lead. Tampa Bay made short work of their possession with Boltus passing the ball to V’Keon Lacey (5 catches for 80 yards and 1 touchdown) for a 15 yard score. Peterson made the PAT, shortening Arizona’s lead to 20 points. Arizona took a lot of time off the clock, getting the ball with 7 minutes left and leaving Tampa Bay with under a minute left. Davila passed the ball to Windsor and Zendejas made the PAT making the score Arizona 47, Tampa Bay 20. On the kick return, Tampa Bay’s Camero McGlenn almost made a Touchdown, but fumbled the ball. Arizona recovered the fumble, but was not given possession due to an offsides flag on them. The ball was held up on the slack net, hit the Casino Arizona sign (a foreign object), and the kick returner’s foot was on the end line. Along with that, due to the offsides call, Arizona should have been forced to rekick, rather than Tampa Bay getting the ball on the half yard line. Tampa Bay challenged the ruling on the field that it was a touchdown, but the call on the field stood as no touchdown, but Tampa got the ball on the half yard line.
To start the 4th Quarter, Boltus preformed a sneak play which resulted in a touchdownand with the made PAT, the score was Tampa Bay 27, Arizona 47. Arizona drove down the field on their next possession and Davila tried his own sneak at the 1, but the ball was fumbled and Tampa Bay’s Rick-J Hill recovered it. Tampa Bay drove down the field, but the drive stalled at their 20. Davila passed the ball twice to Windsor on the following drive for a touchdown. Zendejas PAT was good, widening Arizona’s lead to 54 to 27. On Tampa Bay’s next drive, Boltus threw a pass that ended up into the hands of Kerry Reed for an Arizona Pick Six. Zendejas missed the following PAT, making the score 60 to 27 in favor of Arizona. Tampa Bay ended the game with a 2 yard rush.