Rattlers roll Cedar Rapids, win seventh straight
PHOENIX — Arizona Rattlers head coach Kevin Guy was so disgusted by his team’s work ethic during practice last week that he kicked them off the field.
The week before, Arizona (11-4) had clinched first place in the conference and seemed to have a hangover going into the final two weeks of the regular season.
Any fears of a letdown were quelled by a 28-point second quarter as the Rattlers demolished the Cedar Rapids Titans (1-14) Sunday afternoon, 56-25, in front of 13,251 fans at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Arizona looked lost on the game’s opening drive, turning the ball over on downs after just four plays. Two plays later, Cedar Rapids’ quarterback Brion Carnes found receiver Tre’ Parmalee in the end zone on a 4-yard touchdown pass to give the Titans a 7-0 lead.
The Rattlers established the run on the ensuing drive as Ketrich Harmon rushed five times for 35 yards, including a seven-yard touchdown run to pull the score even.
On the Titans’ next drive, Carnes’ pass was tipped and intercepted by Bubba Chapman. A few plays later, Arizona quarterback Cody Sokol found Darrell Monroe over the middle for an 8-yard touchdown to give the Rattlers their first lead, 14-7.
The teams traded scores until the 7:27 mark of the second quarter when Carnes was picked off by Chapman again, who returned the ball to the Cedar Rapids 9-yard line.
On the next play, Arizona State alum Jamal Miles found the end zone from 9 yards out to stretch the Arizona lead to 28-13 and the Snakes never looked back on their way to a dominant win.
“If we have to run to win, we will, if we have to throw it to win, we will,” said Guy after his team attempted just 10 passes. “It’s part of the process. We are playing with 17 rookies, you are going to make some mistakes. But we are a physical football team and we are going to play for four quarters.”
• Cedar Rapids receiver Damond Powell — a former Cardinals’ undrafted free agent — was flagged after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter for duplicating Steph Curry’s celebration squat, except Powell used a prop.
• Monroe had 33 rushing yards and two touchdowns against the Titans. He leads the IFL in rushing at 56.7 yards/game.
• Three of Chapman’s seven interceptions on the season have come against Cedar Rapids. Chapman is second in the league in that category.
• In the fourth quarter, backup quarterback Jon Wolf was upended after an 8-yard run on third down that gave Arizona a first down.
• The Rattlers wore white uniforms at home for the first time in their 25-year history. They were forced to, as Cedar Rapids doesn’t have road uniforms and their dark blue-black color combination didn’t offer enough contrast to the Rattlers’ signature all-black look.
The Rattlers travel to Loveland, Colorado for their season finale against the Colorado Crush on Friday June 16. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Budweiser Events Center.