Danger at Rattlers Game Preview

Photo Credit: Matt Hinshaw
Photo Credit: Matt Hinshaw

Phoenix – After being on the road for nearly a month, the Arizona Rattlers (8-0) return to the Snake Pit this Saturday for their only matchup of the season against the Nebraska Danger (5-4). This contest has playoff implications for both sides. The Rattlers currently hold the first seed in the Indoor Football League by one game while the Danger are hanging on to the fifth spot by two games with the season more than halfway completed.

The Arizona Rattlers are coming off a 63-50 victory over the Sioux Falls Storm at the Denny Sanford Premier Center last weekend. It was their second victory of the season against their heated rival.

Quarterback Jeff Ziemba led the offensive attack completing 15-of-21 passes for 180 yards (season-high) and six touchdowns (no turnovers). Over his last four games, he has tossed 16 touchdown passes and has yet to commit a turnover. Running back Roland Genesy Jr. got the start for the second week in a row and turned 12 carries into 43 yards and one touchdown. He also added four receptions for 46 yards.

This matchup will feature two of the best rushing offenses in the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Rattlers rank second with an average of 108.6 rushing yards per game, while the Danger are third with 106.8 yards per game.

Wide receivers Jarrod Harrington and Jamal Miles continued to step up for the Rattlers. Against the Storm, Harrington caught six passes for 77 yards and three touchdowns. Miles hauled in four receptions for 57 yards and three touchdowns. One of which was a highlight reel grab that he had to jump over the boards for. Over their last five games, Harrington has nine touchdowns and Miles has 10.

Meanwhile, the Nebraska Danger are coming off a 66-42 victory over the Cedar Rapids River Kings at the Heartland Events Center last weekend.

Starting quarterback Tommy Armstrong led the Danger through the air with 112 passing yards and three touchdowns (no turnovers). He also added 31 yards on the ground. Armstrong has 26 passing touchdowns and 16 rushing scores thus far. Starting running back Davonte Sapp-Lynch finished with 10 carries for 53 yards and three touchdowns in the victory over the River Kings. Wide receiver Quincy Walden chipped in with two receiving touchdowns.

The Arizona Rattlers defense was led by defensive back Dillion Winfrey who finished with six tackles and one interception. He now has four INTs this season. MAC linebacker Ricky Wyatt Jr. added four tackles and one sack while defensive lineman Chris McAllister added a sack as well. With 19 sacks thus far, Arizona ranks second in the IFL. Lance McDowdell also blocked a Storm field goal attempt and it was his second blocked kick of the year.

As for the Nebraska Danger's defense, they surrendered only 111 yards of total offense against Cedar Rapids. Defensive backs Steffon Herd and Brandon Roe each came up with an interception and the defense also sacked River Kings' QB Ben Wilkerson five times (season-high). The Danger leads the IFL with 20 sacks and an average of 44.8 tackles per game.

Arizona's first matchup against the Nebraska Danger since last season is slated for a 5:00 p.m. AZT kickoff, and can be seen live on Your Phoenix CW and on YouTube.