Grand Island, Neb. – The five-time World Champion Arizona Rattlers (3-3) defeated the first-place Nebraska Danger (4-3) by a score of 39-36 with a last second field goal at the Heartland Events Center in Grand Island, Nebraska.
With the win, the Rattlers have pulled within a half of a game in playoff position, and a single game away from the first-place Spokane Empire (4-2), who moved into pole position with the Nebraska loss.
Rattlers quarterback Cody Sokol got his second start, and had a solid outing, completing 17 of 30 passes for 165 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 33 yards on the ground.
The game came down to special teams, where Arizona kicker Sawyer Petre had his best night as a Rattler so far this season. He completed all four of his point after attempts (PATs) along with completing three out of four field goals, which included the game winner with four seconds left on the clock.
Nebraska's offense was held to only 149 total yards. Danger's quarterback Derrick Bernard went 9-for-19 and 97 yards passing. He did throw three touchdowns and added another on the ground.
Nebraska began the game with the ball, but the drive stalled at the Rattlers 14-yardline, and the field goal was missed by K Nicholas Giaffoglione.
Arizona took advantage with a nine-play scoring drive that ended with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Sokol to WR Anthony Amos.
The Danger quickly responded with a 25-yard touchdown pass from QB Derrick Bernard to WR Dimtri Stimphil.
The Rattlers began the second quarter with a 13-yard pass on 4th down from Sokol to WR Fred Williams for the score.
Nebraska tied the game up with a 10-yard scramble from Bernard. Then after a four-and-out by the Rattlers, the Danger took the lead with a touchdown pass from Bernard to WR Dello Davis. Giaffoglione missed the PAT, making the score 20-14 Nebraska.
The Rattlers would regain the lead with less than a minute to go in the half with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Sokol to Williams.
The Danger retook the lead with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Bernard to Davis. The PAT was blocked. The half ended with a score of 26-21; the Danger in the lead.
The Rattlers began the third quarter taking the ball down to the Danger five-yard line, however the drive would stall out with a missed field goal by K Sawyer Petre. Nebraska, however, went three-and-out and attempted a field goal. The attempt by Giaffoglione was blocked back into the end zone for the safety. The Rattlers would again retake the lead with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Sokol to Amos.
The Danger would take the ensuing kickoff 50 yards for their only score in the third quarter.
The Rattlers tied the game up at the end of the third with a 22-yard field goal. The two teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 33 apiece.
Nebraska, on their next drive, took the ball all the way to Arizona's one-yard line, however Bernard would fumble the ball on the one trying to sneak into the end zone, and the Rattlers LB Adam Sauder would recover. Arizona would go ahead by three with a 23-yard field goal by Petre.
Nebraska once again tied the game with Giaffoglione kicking a 23-yard field goal.
With 4 seconds left on the clock, Petre kicked his third straight field goal, 20 yards, for the win. Final score, 39-36; Rattlers.
The Rattlers will head to Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, April 14th, to take on the Screaming Eagles (1-4). Salt Lake City will take on the Wichita Falls Nighthawks (5-1). Both games will be streamed online on YouTube Live.