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Rattlers end regular season with rout of Iowa

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.