Phoenix, Ariz. – The five-time World Champion Arizona Rattlers (5-4) defeated the Green Bay Blizzard (2-8) at Talking Stick Resort Arena by a final score of 64-29, in front of 13,006 fans.
The game was close early. The Rattlers fell behind 14-7 early in the second quarter, but then rattled off four unanswered touchdowns and never looked back. With a victory tonight, Arizona swept the season series against the Blizzard.
"I thought that in all three phases we played pretty good tonight," Head Coach and General Manager Kevin Guy stated after the game. "Overall, I am pretty pleased with the guys tonight, but we have to build on (this win)."
Rattlers QB Cody Sokol went 11-18 with five touchdown passes, and threw for 113 yards. WR Jamal Miles also had five catches and four touchdowns, amassing a total of 38 yards receiving. Running back Darrell Monroe had 16 carries for 138 yards as well.
"When we go out there and work hard, the results will come." Sokol said. "We just have to keep working hard."
Defensively tonight, Arizona recorded two tackles for loss, four pass break-ups, five hits on the quarterback, one sack, and two interceptions. DB Adam Sauder led the defense with seven tackles, two pass breakups, and was tonight's defensive player of the game. Also, veteran DB Arkeith Brown came away with an interception to end the game.
"It started in practice", Brown said. "We went in with the mindset that we were going to get better as a group. It showed in practice, and it showed in the game."
On special teams, the Rattlers blocked a field goal and K Sawyer Petre was perfect 7-7 on PAT attempts. Additionally, QB Jon Wolfe successfully converted a two-point conversion.
The Blizzard had 256 yards of total offense. Quarterback Matt Behrendt went 8-25, threw four touchdowns and three interceptions. He also led the team in rushing with 56 yards. Behrendt's top target for the game was WR Marquel Willis who had four receptions for 67 yards and two touchdowns.
The Blizzard scored first with a 45-yard touchdown pass from Behrendt to WR Jack Bramswig.
The Rattlers first drive of the game resulted in an 18-yard touchdown throw by Sokol to Amos.
Green Bay, after a blocked field goal turned into a first down, went the length of the field, but ended the drive on a missed 26-yard field goal by K Jeff Budzien.
Blizzard WR Marquel Willis earned the first points of the second quarter by catching a five-yard touchdown pass from Behrendt.
On the following drive, Arizona scored on a five-yard touchdown pass from Sokol to Miles, tying the game at 14. The Rattlers then took the lead on a one-yard touchdown rush from Miles.
Arizona ended the first half, leading by two scores after an eight-yard touchdown pass from Sokol to Miles. Following the touchdown, QB Jon Wolfe successfully converted the two-point conversion putting the Rattlers up by 15.
Sokol began the second half by throwing a two-yard touchdown pass to Miles.
Behrendt responded by throwing a 38-yard touchdown pass to WR Dorian Buford.
On the following drive, Rattlers RB Darrel Monroe rushed for a 30-yard touchdown.
The Rattlers struck first in the fourth quarter, when Sokol threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Miles.
Green Bay cut into Arizona's lead by scoring on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Behrendt to Willis.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Blizzard tackled Miles in the end zone, resulting in a rouge, which granted Green Bay one point.
The Rattlers brought in backup QB Jon Wolf, who countered by scoring on a three-yard touchdown run.
With 54 seconds left in the game, WR Fred Williams rushed for a 17-yard touchdown, giving the Rattlers a 35-point lead, and the win.
Next week, the Rattlers travel to Cedar Rapids Friday May 5, 2017 for a5:00 p.m. PDT matchup against the Titans (1-9). The game will be streamed online live on YouTube, be sure to catch the action on a tablet, smartphone, or streaming device.