Spokane, Wash. – The five-time World Champion Arizona Rattlers (7-4) moved in to first place with a win over their Intense Conference foe Spokane Empire (7-4) by a score of 49-35 at the Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, Washington.
The win puts the Rattlers in command of the Intense Conference, and tied the season series with Spokane at one apiece. Both teams will see each other again one more time later this season that could likely determine home field advantage in the playoffs.
Arizona has now won three straight games, and five of the last six. Spokane, on the other hand, have now lost two straight games for the first time this season.
Arizona's defensive front came up big in this game, recording six sacks on Spokane's quarterback, Charles Dowdell.
The Rattlers got on the board first with a four-yard rush by RB Darrell Monroe.
Spokane responded on their next play from scrimmage with a 15-yard touchdown pass from QB Charles Dowdell to WR Samuel Charles. After a fumble by WR Fred Williams, forced by LB Pasquale Vacchio, Spokane would kick a 19-yard field goal to take the lead.
Arizona would retake the lead after a pair of field goals by K Sawyer Petre, the first was a 28-yarder, the second was a 27-yard field goal.
The Empire would once again be on top with a five-yard touchdown pass from Dowdell to WR Bryan Pray.
Rattlers got the final score of the half with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Sokol to WR Anthony Amos. Arizona entered halftime with a 20-17 lead.
Arizona began the second half with a 13-yard touchdown run by Monroe.
Spokane would answer with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Dowdell to Devon Brown. The Empire attempted a two-point conversion but failed.
The Rattlers would again extend their lead after another 13-yard touchdown run by Monroe.
The Empire closed out the quarter with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Dowdell to Pray. Spokane once again went for two, but the throw by Dowdell was incomplete.
Arizona would continue to extend their lead with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Sokol to Amos.
Spokane would again close the gap with a one-yard touchdown run by Trevor Kennedy, however, the Empire failed on another two-point try.
The Rattlers took their biggest lead of the night after a four-yard touchdown pass from Sokol to WR Fred Williams. Arizona successfully went for two with a rush by QB Jon Wolf.
Spokane had one more drive, but stalled out after two sacks, one by LB Justin Shirk, and a shared sack by DE Josh Gordon and DE Chris McAllister, put the game out of reach for the Empire.
The Rattlers return home to the Talking Stick Resort Arena on Saturday, May 20th to take on the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles (3-8). The Screaming Eagles are coming off a one-point victory over the Colorado Crush (2-9). The game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Arizona Plus, streamed online on YouTube and the FOX Sports GO app, and simulcast on 1580 the Fanatic and 99.3 FM