One of the Arena Football League's three remaining unbeaten teams, the world champion Arizona Rattlers (2-0) will host the Jacksonville Sharks (1-1) at 6 p.m. Saturday on Ak-Chin Field at US Airways Center.
Arizona leads the series with the fifth-year franchise, 3-1, including a 58-48 victory in Jacksonville that ended the Sharks' 6-0 start to the 2013 season. The lone loss came in 2011, when then-Jacksonville quarterback Aaron Garcia threw a 10-yard scoring pass to Jeron Harvey with two seconds left for a 73-70 victory in ArenaBowl XXIV at US Airways Center.
The Rattlers are coming off their first bye week of the season. On March 23, the team clobbered the Spokane Shock, 68-49, in front of 7,128 fans at US Airways Center. In a game nationally broadcast on CBS Sports Network, Rattlers quarterback Nick Davila completed 22 of 27 attempts (82 percent) for 225 yards and eight touchdowns, including four to wide receiver Maurice Purify.
Davila now ranks 10th on the AFL's all-time passing touchdowns career list with 457. He needs 38 to pass Tony Graziani (494) for ninth place.
The Rattlers also turned up the heat on defense, with defensive lineman Anttaj Hawthorne coming up with a sack on fourth down and Jack linebacker Jeremy Kellem finishing with one interception, one fumble recovery and 8.5 tackles. In each of its first two games, Arizona has recorded five defensive stops.
Jacksonville is coming off a 63-22 home-opening pounding of the San Antonio Talons. The Sharks scored the game's first four touchdowns and never looked back. Quarterback R.J. Archer threw for six touchdowns and ran for another score, while fullback Jared McGriff-Culver had 12 carries for 48 yards and two scores.
Offensively, the Rattlers have scored 62 and 68 points, respectively, in their two victories this season. On the other side of the ball, the Sharks have a defense that has held each of its opponents (Orlando, San Antonio) under 50 points.
ABOUT THE ARIZONA RATTLERS
The Arizona Rattlers are the 2012 and 2013 ArenaBowl champions and are proud members of the Arena Football League (AFL). ArenaBowl XXVI marked the Rattlers' eighth appearance in the AFL championship game, winning titles in 1994, 1997, 2012 and 2013. For ticket information, call 602-514-TDTD (8383), or visit www.azrattlers.com.
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