Phoenix, Ariz. – The Arizona Rattlers (8-4) extended their conference lead tonight with a victory over the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles (3-9) by a score of 63-33 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix in front of the largest crowd in over a decade (15,478).
With the win, the Rattlers are currently on a four-game win streak. The victory against Salt Lake also puts the Rattlers a full game up on the Spokane Empire (7-5) and the Nebraska Danger (7-5) in the Intense Conference with only four games left in the season.
"We are just going to keep building on what we have been doing here lately." General Manager and Head Coach Kevin Guy, "We control our own destiny."
The Offensive Player of the Game was Rattlers QB Cody Sokol, who went eight-for-thirteen for 102 yards in tonight's victory. He scored five touchdowns total, four through the air, and one on the ground. WR Jamal Miles was the leading receiver in the contest. He had four catches for 48 yards and two touchdowns. RB Darrell Monroe had another big night with nine carries for 92 yards and a score.
"Our team and our coaching staff has been doing a great job mixing it up," Sokol stated after the game.
Defensively, the Rattlers recorded five sacks, eight tackles for loss, and seven pass breakups. Arizona also forced three turnovers on downs. LB Justin Shirk led the defense with six and a half tackles, three and a half of which were for a loss and two and a half sacks.
On special teams, K Sawyer Petre was a perfect nine-for-nine on points after touchdown (PATs). The Rattlers had a good day on kickoffs, amassing 64 total yards on five returns. Arizona did not allow any PATs throughout the game, even intercepting one late in the fourth.
Screaming Eagles QB Verlon Reed threw four touchdowns and went 19-37 with 228 total yards passing in the loss. He was also the team's leading rusher, recording 43 yards running the ball. Salt Lake's leading receiver was Chris Robinson, who caught all four touchdowns and tallied 149 yards receiving.
The first score of the game was a 32-yard touchdown pass from Reed to Salt Lake WR Chris Robinson.
After a 34-yard kickoff return by WR Jamal Miles, Sokol threw an eight-yard touchdown to WR Anthony Amos.
On the following drive, the Screaming Eagles would score on a one-yard touchdown run from running back James Poole.
Rattlers responded on the first play of the next drive with a 42-yard rushing touchdown from Monroe.
Arizona struck first in the second quarter, by way of a 16-yard touchdown pass from Sokol to WR Diondre Borel.
Reed threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Robinson on the ensuing drive. Salt Lake remained down by three after they were not able to convert the two-point conversion following the score.
The Rattlers extended their lead with a one-yard touchdown rush from Sokol.
Last points of the first half came from a 35-yard field goal from Salt Lake kicker Josh Wilson.
Arizona began the scoring in the second half when Sokol threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to WR Jamal Miles.
Following a Salt Lake turnover on downs, the Rattlers scored on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Sokol to Miles, extending the Rattlers lead to 20.
Rattlers then extended their lead when Sokol handed the ball off to Amos for a three-yard touchdown rush.
Screaming Eagles first touchdown in the second half came on the first play of the fourth quarter, when Reed threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Robinson.
Immediately following the Salt Lake touchdown, the Rattlers recovered the onside kick and scored on a six-yard touchdown rush from Sokol.
Salt Lake responded on the next drive when Reed again connected with Robinson, this time for a 36-yard score.
On his first play in the game as quarterback, Rattlers QB Jon Wolf ran for a nine-yard score.
After a Salt Lake turnover on downs, Wolf took a knee, giving the Rattlers a 63-33 victory.
The Arizona Rattlers will stay home to host the Nebraska Danger (7-5). The Danger are coming off a 41-25 win against the Green Bay Blizzard (2-11). The game is next Sunday May 28, 2017 at 3:00 PDT at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Arizona Plus, streamed live on YouTube and the FOX Sports GO app, and simulcast on 1580 the Fanatic and 99.3 FM.