Rattlers Soul searching produces a 72-54 Arena Bowl XXV Victory!
Last year at this time, after the Arizona Rattlers lost a heart breaker in the arena bowl against the Jacksonville Sharks 73-70, the team had to go through some soul searching during the off season. After all they set an AFL record last year for the best record in the regular season at 16-2. Some organizations would fade away, wither and give up. But not the Rattlers. Led by the the best coach in the league, Kevin Guy, the Rattlers put together a team built for the playoffs, bringing back many of the players from last year, and adding some more strength on defense and offense. Cliff Dukes, Maurice Purify and Arkeith Brown were some new additions to this years team. Guy deserves so much credit for his diverse set of talents, from recruiting, to coaching, to preparation, to motivation and especially keeping his eye on the prize – winning Arena Bowl XXV, and bringing home the Foster Trophy to the desert. Great organizations produce great teams and the Rattlers are among the best organizations in sports. Guy’s focus, dedication and determination paid off, as the Rattlers did a different type of Soul Searching in Arena Bowl XXV, as they defeated the Philadelphia Soul 72-54 on Saturday night.
Football is a team effort and certainly the Rattlers proved that at Arena Bowl XXV, winning their third championship in the clubs great history. Yet, teams have certain players that are game breakers and the Rattlers are no exception. The Soul did not see teams such as the Rattlers in the regular season, and certainly have not seen superstars that the Rattlers put on the field, to produce one of their best performances of the 2012 AFL season/playoffs.
Superstars such as the great leader and quarterback, Nick Davila. His performance was nothing short of excellent where he completed 23 of 30 passes for 266 yards, while tying an AFL record for most TD’s in an arena bowl with 9. Maurice Purify, who averaged a league-best 128.8 yards receiving per game this season, had nine catches for 143 yards and broke the previous record of five TD’s. Arkeith Brown continued his dominance on defense coming up with two interceptions. Kevin McCullough also had an interception and played an inspired game. The Rattlers defensive unit and special teams caused four turnovers during the game. (3 interceptions and a fumble recovery). A concern last week for the Rattlers was their coverage when their opponent attempts onside kicks, however, the Rattlers played all four onside kick attempts by the Soul perfectly, recovering each one.
The Soul, who led the league in many offensive categories in 2012, while possessing the best record in the AFL at 15-3, were shell shocked with the precision accuracy of the Rattlers offense, and the physical and game breaking plays of the Rattlers defense. The Rattlers took the lead in the 1st quarter and never looked back. They led at the end of the 1st quarter 14-6. At the end of the half, it was Rattlers 27-13. Less than two minutes into the second half, the Rattlers increased their lead to 34-13. The Rattlers biggest lead was 54-26 with 1:18 left in the 3rd quarter. It became evident that the Soul could not match the fire power of the Rattlers and were chasing the game all night long.
With the new CBA provision of signing players to multi year contracts, the Rattlers will once again be strong and the team to beat. How do you spell dynasty?