The Arizona Rattlers’ winning streak came to an end with a resounding thud Saturday night in San Jose.
Sabercats quarterback Russ Michna completed 24-of-37 passes for 313 yards and nine touchdowns, including five to Fred Williams, and San Jose cruised to an easy 72-42 win over the Rattlers at the HP Pavilion.
The game was tied 21-21 in the second quarter when the San Jose defense forced the first stop of the night. On a fourth and four at their own 11-yard line, Arizona quarterback Nick Davila threw deep and incomplete to Kerry Reed, and the Rattlers turned the ball over on downs.
On the next play, Michna found Williams on an 11-yard scoring strike, and the momentum had effectively shifted over to the home team’s sideline.
With just a minute remaining in the half, San Jose attempted an onside kick, but the Rattlers recovered at the Sabercats’ nine-yard line. However, Arizona (12-2) failed to score. Davila couldn’t connect with Maurice Purify on fourth down, and once again the vaunted Rattlers’ offense was turned away. And they left plenty of time for Michna and San Jose to pad their lead.
The quarterback, who was acquired earlier this season, led the Sabercats on a six-play, 45-yard drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown pass to Williams with just :03 left that padded their lead to 35-21.
San Jose put the game away early in the second half when they took the opening kickoff and marched down the field. Michna and Williams hooked up again, this time from two yards, and the San Jose lead had ballooned to 21 points.
Later in the quarter, San Jose DB Ken Fontennette picked off Davila and returned the ball 10 yards for another touchdown. The Sabercats defense also forced a safety in a dominant third quarter in which they outscored Arizona 30-7.
For the Rattlers, the loss was their worst since March 10, 2008, when the Los Angeles Avengers beat them 65-33.
Arizona gets a bye week before heading to Orlando to take on the resurgent Predators On July 6. The Rattlers beat Orlando 82-42 in Phoenix on April 28.