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Rattlers stay perfect, become second AFL team to start 12-0 with win over Thunder

In 2014, the Arizona Rattlers aren’t just looking to claim the Arena Bowl League’s first three-peat since 1988-90.

No, Kevin Guy’s squad hopes to also reach perfection in the process.

The Rattlers took another step toward that goal Friday night with a 70-59 road victory over the Portland Thunder.

With the win, Arizona became just the second AFL team in league history to start a campaign 12-0, joining the 2002 San Jose Sabercats.

Friday’s triumph didn’t come easy for the two-time defending champs, as Thunder quarterback Danny Southwick opened the contest with three consecutive scoring drives en route to a 21-7 start.

But Arena Bowl XXV MVP Nick Davila was quick to lead the Rattlers on the comeback trail, throwing three touchdowns in the second quarter — including a pair to wideout Kerry Reed — as Arizona took a 35-33 lead into the locker room after 30 minutes of play.

In the second half, the Rattlers never relinquished their advantage, as Davila tossed four more touchdowns, two of which were thrown in the direction of receiver Rod Windsor.

Arizona’s defense also proved big in the win, forcing a trio of turnovers on the evening, including a pick-six by Allen Chapman and a fumble return for a touchdown by Clifford Dukes.