Rattlers start fast, plow over the Green Bay Blizzard
Coming out of the gates like a champion thoroughbred, the Arizona Rattlers led pole to pole on their way to an eighth straight victory, 63-26, in front of 5,127 fans at Green Bay’s Resch Center Saturday night.
Arizona seized control from the opening kick-off. Sawyer Petre’s squibbed kick was deflected at the 12-yard line, where Rattlers’ defensive back Keith Trumps recovered.
Six plays later, quarterback Jeff Ziemba called his own number and found the end zone from a few yards out to give his team the early lead.
After the defense forced a missed field goal, Ziemba led another textbook drive, culminating in an eight-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Jones, Jr., giving Arizona a 14-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Green Bay quarterback Bryan Hicks was intercepted by Arkeith Brown.
To start the 2nd quarter, Ziemba completed a swing pass to running back Darrell Monroe, who raced to pay dirt to give the Rattlers a three-score advantage.
Hicks was picked off again on Green Bay’s next drive, leading to another Ziemba score. This time, to Arizona State alum Jamal Miles to give the Snakes a commanding 28-point lead.
Green Bay pulled to within 18 points before the half, but Arizona avoided a repeat of last week’s rally in Cedar Rapids to claim a convincing three-game season sweep of Green Bay.
-Head Coach/General Manager Kevin Guy earned his 141st victory with Arizona, tying him with Danny White for most in franchise history.
-Hicks, the IFL’s reigning Offensive Player of the Week, finished 4-11 passing for 36 yards and 2 INTs. He was relieved by back-up Tyler Johnson in the 2nd quarter. Both were harassed by the Rattlers’ attacking front to the tune of five sacks; 2.5 from linebacker Justin Shirk.
-Monroe, the league’s touchdown leader and top rusher, was helped off the field in the 2nd quarter with an apparent leg injury.
-Arizona back-up quarterback Verlon Reed, the team’s week 1 starter, saw time in the 4th quarter. The former Offensive Rookie of the Year threw for 38 yards, 2TDs.
The Arizona Rattlers look to avenge their only loss of the season and secure home field advantage for the post-season when they welcome the Iowa Barnstormers to Talking Stick Resort Arena next Sunday. Kick-off is at 3pm.