With two-time ArenaBowl champion Sherdrick Bonner on hand at US Airways Center to have his No. 13 jersey retired, Arizona Rattlers quarterback Nick Davila put together quite the tribute performance Sunday.
Davila threw for 246 yards and seven touchdowns — including four in the second half — as the Rattlers (15-2) put an end to their two-game losing streak with a comfortable 65-55 victory over the visiting Portland Thunder (5-12).
Arizona briefly trailed 26-24 in the third quarter but a 21-point swing, highlighted by a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown by cornerback Allen Chapman, put the home side up for good.
In the win, receiver Rod Windsor caught 11 passes for 171 yards and four touchdowns, including a 47-yarder.
Bonner, who played for the Rattlers from 1993 until 2007, signed a one-day contract before the game, officially allowing him to retire as a member of the organization. Bonner closed out his career in 2008 with the Chicago Rush. He ranks fourth in AFL history with 855 touchdown passes — 829 of which came in an Arizona uniform.
The Rattlers close out their season with a road contest against the Orlando Predators next Saturday, July 26 before opening the National Conference playoffs with a home game against Portland the following weekend.
With a victory and a loss by the Cleveland Gladiators, Arizona can still finish the campaign with a share of the AFL’s best regular season record.