Much can be found out about the mettle of a team based on how they respond to adversity.
The Arizona Rattlers have injuries to key players and tasted defeat for the first time this season last week in Spokane.
None of that mattered Saturday night as Kevin Guy’s team bounced back with a dominating 83-40 win over the San Antonio Talons in front of 8,323 fans at US Airways Center.
The Talons got on the board first when Nick Hill found Jomo Wilson on a 17-yard touchdown pass on their opening drive. That would be one of the few highlights on the night for San Antonio (1-3).
The Rattlers responded with three straight touchdown passes from Nick Davila to Rod Windsor, and the first quarter would end with Arizona ahead 21-7 — a sign of things to come.
Davila would throw four more touchdown strikes in the second quarter, including two to Jared Perry, as the Rattlers built an insurmountable 28-point lead by halftime.
Davila was spectacular — completing 22-of-26 passes for 278 yards and nine touchdowns. The lefty from Cincinnati didn’t even play a snap in the fourth quarter.
With receivers Maurice Purify and Tysson Poots on the shelf, the Rattlers counted on Windsor to step up and be the go-to receiver. Saturday night, he was just that, catching 12 passes for 166 yards and five touchdowns. Kerry Reed chipped in with three touchdown catches for the Rattlers, who moved to 4-1 on the season.
The 83 points were the most ever scored by the Rattlers in a home game, besting the team’s previous high of 80 in a win over the Las Vegas Gladiators on April 10, 2004.
The Rattlers defense was just as dominant. Arizona intercepted Hill twice and sacked him three more times, holding the Talons to 3-of-13 on third and fourth down conversions.
“I thought we played solid in all three phases,” Guy said on the field following the game.
The Rattlers host the Orlando Predators (0-4) next Sunday at Ak-Chin Field at US Airways Center. Kickoff is slated for 3:00 p.m.