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How it happened: Arizona Rattlers’ historic start

The two-time defending AFL champions Arizona Rattlers are off to the best start in league history after winning their first 13 games. They are outscoring their opponents by an average of 65.7 to 47.1. The Rattlers boast the league’s top scoring offense, which is led by quarterback Nick Davila who has thrown 96 touchdown passes against seven interceptions.

Below is a game-by-game look at how the Rattlers became 13-0.

Week 1 vs. Philadelphia (62-55, OT): The Rattlers nearly lost the season opener in a rematch of the 2013 Arena Bowl against the Soul. Wide receiver Tysson Poots had other ideas, catching the game-tying touchdown with eight seconds left in regulation and then the game-winner in overtime.

Week 2 vs. Spokane (68-49): The Rattlers trailed to begin the second quarter, but outscored the Shock 40-14 in the middle quarters. Davila threw eight touchdown passes, including four to wide receiver Maurice Purify.

Week 4 vs. Jacksonville (63-38): The Rattlers were outgained 336-228 in total offense, but Sharks quarterback R.J. Archer struggled to connect with his receivers (22-for-46). Purify and wide receiver Rod Windsor each hauled in three touchdown passes.

Week 5 at San Jose (57-51): For the second time in four games, the Rattlers needed a touchdown in the last 10 seconds of regulation to keep their undefeated season alive. Wide receiver Kerry Reed became the hero this week, reeling in the game-winning two-yard touchdown pass from Davila with seven second remaining against the SaberCats.

Week 6 vs. Pittsburgh (73-69): The Power and Rattlers seesawed in the second half with six lead changes in the team’s highest scoring game of the season. Davila and Pittsburgh quarterback Tommy Grady each threw nine touchdown passes.

Week 7 vs. San Antonio (69-59): The Talons pulled within three points after quarterback Shane Boyd’s sixth touchdown pass of the game with 2:18 left in the fourth quarter. Moments later, Reed returned a kick for a touchdown to seal the Rattlers’ win.

Week 8 at Jacksonville (70-61): The Rattlers and Sharks went back and forth for most of the game. Davila and Jacksonville quarterback R.J. Archer combined to throw 18 touchdown passes in the Rattlers’ win.

Week 9 at Portland (61-32): Davila had another big game for the Rattlers, throwing eight touchdown passes, four to Windsor, in the team’s thrashing of the Thunder.

Week 10 vs. Spokane (70-38): The Rattlers commanded a 49-14 halftime lead and never relented. The Shock shot themselves in the foot by committing six turnovers, two of which were returned for touchdowns.

Week 11 at Los Angeles (70-25): The Rattlers outscored the Kiss 35-6 in the second half of a massacre. The Kiss actually scored first, and then the Rattlers answered. Reed had a big game hauling in seven passes, gaining 101 yards and scoring four touchdowns.

Week 12 vs. San Jose (51-42): Davila wasn’t expected to play against the SaberCats following the passing of his father. Instead, he entered the game in relief because of his backup Jason Murrietta struggling, tossing four touchdown passes in the win.

Week 13 at Portland (70-59): The Thunder played the Rattlers tight throughout, but Allen Chapman’s 21-yard interception return with 52 seconds remaining sealed the game. Davila threw eight touchdown passes in the victory.

Week 14 At San Antonio (70-34): The Rattlers blew out the Talons behind Davila’s seven touchdown passes, three to Purify and three to Windsor. The Talons had more than a 2:1 edge in time of possession, but quarterback Matthew Bassuener (16-for-35) wasn’t accurate enough and threw three interceptions.