The best defense in the Arena Football League was no match for the stellar offense of the Arizona Rattlers, who handily defeated the San Antonio Talons 83-40 on Saturday night on Ak-Chin Field at the US Airways Center.
Rattlers QB Nick Davila connected on 22-of-26 passes on the night without throwing a single interception. He threw for 278 yards and nine touchdowns. WR Rod Windsor finished with 12 catches for 166 yards and five touchdowns. QB Nick Hill was just 20-for-40 on the night for San Antonio and was picked off twice. Jomo Wilson led the Talons receivers with 10 receptions for 164 yards and three TDs.
San Antonio started the game out strong with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jomo Wilson on the opening drive, but then struggled for the rest of the 1st quarter. Nick Hill threw an incompletion and interception, both on 4th down.
Nick Davila fired off 3 straight completions to Rod Windsor on the Rattlers opening drive for a score. Davila went right back to Windsor for a 12 yard strike. Jeremy Kellem intercepted Hill in the endzone on 4th down for the 2nd Talons turnover of the quarter. Davila then sent a 33-yard bomb downfield to Windsor for their 3rd touchdown of the first quarter and extended the lead to 21-7 Rattlers.
Hill recovered from a Cliff Dukes sack by throwing a 43-yard bomb to Wilson on the next play to start out the 2nd quarter. The Talons, still down a 7, then tried an onside kick, but it was recovered by the Rattlers and turned into a touchdown by Jared Perry.
San Antonio then went 4 and out again, and this time Kerry Reed converted the turnover into points. Hill threw another interception on the next drive, but a roughing the passer penalty on Anttaj Hawthorne negated it. Hill found Wilson in the endzone for the 3rd time in the half to capitalize on the penalty. Hawthorne then got a hand on Marc Demos' extra point attempt for a block.
Davila went right back to work by connecting with Perry again for another Rattlers touchdown. The Talons offense stalled near their own goal line when Tyre Glasper dropped Hill for a 3-yard sack on 3rd down. A delay of game penalty backed the Talons up further and Demos was forced to kick the ball out-of-bounds from his own endzone. Windsor then scored his 4th touchdown of the first half with 7 seconds left on the clock to make the score 48-20 at half.
Davila and the Rattlers offense picked up right where they left off at the start of the 3rd quarter. Davila used Perry, then Windsor, and then Reed to score a touchdown on the opening drive of the 2nd half. Hill hooked up with Dwayne Eley Jr. in the endzone to put the Talons on the scoreboard for the first time in the half.
A series of penalties on both teams delayed the Rattlers quick strike offense, but not enough to keep Windsor from his 5th touchdown of the game. The Talons responded by driving right down the field on the Rattlers, but on 1st and goal Virgil Gray picked off Hill to bring the 3rd quarter to a close with the Rattlers on top 62-27.
With a huge lead in hand, Jason Murrietta replaced Davila at quarterback for the 4th quarter. Like Davila, Murrietta had no problem scoring on the San Antonio defense by connecting with Reed for a touchdown on his first possession. Hill responded by running the ball into the endzone himself, but Demos misfired on the extra point attempt. Odie Armstrong then punched in a rushing touchdown of his own and he had a huge hit on the following kickoff. Another Glasper sack and incompletion on 4th down led to Perry punching in another rushing touchdown for the Rattlers. The Talons then capped off the high scoring game with another Hill rushing touchdown.
The Rattlers remain at home next week to take on the Orlando Predators on Sunday, April 28th, with kickoff set for 3pm MST at the US Airways Center.
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