For the second time in three seasons, the Arizona Rattlers have finished the regular season with the best record in the Arena Football League.
Arizona wrapped a 15-3 campaign with a thorough 84-45 dismantling of the Iowa Barnstormers at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines Saturday night.
On the first play of the game, Arizona quarterback Nick Davila hit Rod Windsor on a 45-yard touchdown strike, and the Rattlers never looked back.
Arizona’s defense then rose to the occasion, with Marquis Floyd intercepting a J.J. Raterink pass deep in Rattlers’ territory. Two plays later, Davila found Windsor again, this time from 34 yards away, and Arizona led 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
Iowa then took over on their own 23-yard line, and Raterink was picked off by Virgil Gray, who took it back 45 yards for a score. Gray would add a second pick-six in the second quarter which put Arizona up 28-6.
In all, the opportunistic Arizona defense forced six Iowa turnovers and the Rattlers’ offense turned all six into touchdowns.
Davila finished the night 16-of-22 for 222 yards and six touchdown passes, four of which went to receiver Tysson Poots.
Gray finishes the regular season with 15 interceptions — the second-highest total in league history. Orlando’s Rayshaun Kizer had 16 in 2011.
The reigning Arena Bowl champion Rattlers open up the playoffs at Ak-Chin Field at US Airways Center Sunday, August 4 against the San Jose Sabercats.
The two teams split two meetings this season.