Rattlers Bite Strike Force 84-63

Photo Credit: David Frerker
Photo Credit: David Frerker

SAN DIEGO – The Arizona Rattlers (10-0) maintain the top spot in the Indoor Football League (IFL) with an 84-63 victory over the San Diego Strike Force (1-10) at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego Sunday night.

The win means that the Rattlers have now gone 10 straight seasons with at least 10 wins, dating back to the 2010 season.

This was also General Manager and Head Coach Kevin Guy's 200th game as the Arizona Rattlers head coach.

The Rattlers offense did not miss a beat, scoring on every possession.  QB Drew Powell completed 12-of-17 passes for 152 yards and four touchdowns.  He also had led the team in rushing with 104 yards on 11 attempts and five touchdowns.  RB Jabre Lolley also gained 83 yards on the ground and added a touchdown.  WR Jamal Miles led the team in receiving with five catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns.

For the Strike Force, QB Jihad Vercher attempted 35 passes, completing 19 of them for 164 yards and six touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions. In addition, he led the team in rushing with 31 yards on eight attempts.  WR Dominique Carson led the receivers for San Diego with 53 yards on five catches and a pair of touchdowns.

Defensively for the Rattlers, LB Davontae Merriweather led the team with 14 total tackles.  Defensive Backs Phillip Henry and Allen Chapman each pulled in an interception.

San Diego received the opening kickoff and took advantage, scoring off of a seven-play drive that was capped off by a five-yard touchdown pass by QB Jihad Vercher to WR Julian Stafford.

The Rattlers would quickly take the lead, first from a 42-yard touchdown run by Powell, then, following an interception by DB Allen Chapman, by a 26-yard touchdown pass from Powell to Lolley.

The Strike Force would tie the game back up after driving the ball down to Arizona's five-yard line, RB Dominique Larson would run it in for the score.

Arizona re-took the lead after a six-play drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Lolley.

San Diego again knotted the game up from a 30-yard touchdown pass from Vercher to WR Dominique Carson.

Arizona again took little time scoring, taking only three plays, and finishing with a four-yard pass from Powell to WR Donta Armstrong.

The Strike Force tied the game up at 28 with just over a minute left in the half from an eight-yard pass from Vercher to WR George Morreira.

The ensuing kickoff was returned 50 yards by Robert Lewis to again give the Rattlers a seven-point lead.

San Diego answered back with a 14-yard pass from Vercher to WR Rashard Ridley for the score.

Jamal Miles got the final score of the half, catching a 20-yard pass from Powell to put the Rattlers up 42-35.

Arizona received the kickoff at the start of the second half and took only four plays to push the ball into the endzone off of a seven-yard run by Powell.

Marquis Rodgers pulled the Strike Force within seven with a two-yard touchdown run.

Drew Powell would score on the ground on two straight possessions.  First, an eight-yard run, then after a turnover on downs, a two-yard run.

Jihad Vercher for San Diego, on their next drive, fumbled the ball on their two-yard line, but it was picked up by Strike Force's OL Zian Jones who rumbled it 48-yards for the score.

Rattlers would again extend their lead to 21 from a 13-yard pass from Powell to Miles.

San Diego pulled within 14 from an eight-yard pass from Vercher to Carson.

Powell would again put the Rattlers up by 21 off his fifth rushing touchdown of the night, an eight-yard run.

San Diego shortened the gap to within two scores when Vercher threw an eight-yard pass to WR David Carter.

Arizona would put the final points on the board off of a pitch from Powell to Lolley, who fumbled into the endzone and was recovered by OL Lamar Mady.

The Rattlers head to Tucson this Saturday, May 25th to take on the Sugar Skulls (6-5).  Arizona faced the Sugar Skulls twice this season, and have won both. Saturday's game will kick off at 6:05 p.m. AZT, and can be seen live on YouTube.