Arizona Crowned National Conference Champs After Dominating Win Against Cleveland
PHOENIX, AZ – The Arizona Rattlers will host ArenaBowl XXIX on August 26th in Glendale after their dominating 82-41 win against the Cleveland Gladiators in the National Conference Finals.
“Were getting this thing done this year,” Rattlers CEO Ron Shurts said after the game. “The fans really put it together and they are the best.”
Rattlers QB Nick Davila (20 of 27 for 222 yards with 7 touchdowns and 1 interception) lead his team on a five minute drive that had FB Mykel Benson (7 rushes for 14 yards and 2 touchdowns) punch the football in with a 1 yard rush to open up the game. During the next drive, Rattlers faced fourth down and six, and Davila found WR Anthony Amos (9 catches for 126 yards and 3 touchdowns) to keep the drive alive with a 14 yard touchdown catch.
Gladiators QB Arvell Nelson (21 of 43 for 248 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions) had a rough time on the first drive. He was hurried by Rattlers DL Damien Borel and Tyre Glasper on back to back plays. After their third down play was over (which Glasper rushed Nelson) Nelson was called for intentional grounding and it led to Cleveland turning the ball over on downs. Gladiators started their next drive with Nelson finding WR Collin Taylor for a 33 yard pass, and two plays later found Quentin Sims (14 catches for 172 yards and 3 touchdowns) for a 22 yard touchdown.
A few drives later Arizona’s DB Jeremy Kellem intercepted Nelson for a pick six. Pertuit tacked on the PAT to extend Arizona’s lead to 21 at the end of the first quarter.
The Rattlers ended up leading by 28 at the half and showed no signs of letting up from there on out.
Nelson had three complete passes on the drive to start the third quarter before throwing a three yard touchdown to WR Larry Beavers. The following kickoff was ruled a touch back, so Cleveland got the ball on their 15 instead of the five due to a Purify taunting flag. Arvell Nelson’s second pass of the drive got picked off by Rattlers DB Jeremy Kellem who got Arizona down to Cleveland’s six in which Davila found Purify for a six yard score. On the next drive, Cleveland made it into Arizona’s territory again with Nelson completing two passes to Sims, one for 27 yards and the second for eight yards but the second catch was punched out of Sims’ hands by Kellem and was recovered by Arizona’s K.J Morton.
Arizona led by 34 points heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter Arizona replaced Nick Davila with back up QB Shane Boyd who was 4 for 7 for 85 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. FB Mykel Benson rushed for a short gain towards the end as the clock struck all zeros and the Rattlers began to celebrate in front of their home crowd of 15,103 fans. Arizona will be hosting the Arena Bowl in Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ due to a Phoenix Mercury Home Game in TSRA. The Rattlers will play the winner between the Jacksonville Sharks and the Philadelphia Soul’s American Conference Finals game.
Offensive Player of the Game: Nick Davila – Arizona Rattlers
Defensive Player of the Game: KJ Morton – Arizona Rattlers
Playmaker of the Game: Anthony Amos – Arizona Rattlers
Catch of the Game: Maurice Purify Tipped Ball TD with double coverage for 24 yards – Arizona Rattlers
Highlight of the Game: Jeremy Kellem Interception for a TD with 11:19 left in the second quarter – Arizona Rattlers