The Arizona Rattlers have had the Philadelphia Soul’s number, never losing to the Soul in six games, including two ArenaBowl victories in 2012 and 2013.
But Saturday was another story as Philadelphia took advantage of several Arizona miscues and injuries to roll to a 65-58 victory in front of 8,505 fans at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.
Arizona started slow and could never quite recover as the Soul scored on the second play from scrimmage, then forced a turnover when Philadelphia defensive end Sean Daniels shot the gap and disrupted the exchange between quarterback Nick Davila and fullback Mykel Benson and recovered the fumble.
A few plays later, Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh (14-21, 223 yards, 6 TDs) lateraled to receiver Shaun Kauleinamoku, who raced to the end zone to put Philadelphia up 14-0.
Raudabaugh and his receivers took advantage of injuries to Rattlers safety Arkeith Brown, linebacker Kerry Reed and lineman Dimetrio Tyson as several miscues lead to easy Philadelphia scores.
Davila (26-42, 316 yards, 8 TDs) attempted to lead a comeback, pulling the Rattlers within seven points several times, but was unable to pull his team even. In a losing effort, Davila surpassed 30,000 career passing yards and threw his 700th career passing touchdown to Benson in the 3rd quarter, becoming the fastest player in Arena Football League history to do so.
The Rattlers looked to have some momentum in the second half, but were set back when Philadelphia recovered an onside kick and returned it for a score. On the ensuing kickoff, Arizona returner Anthony Amos took a hard hit from Philadelphia linebacker Joe Goosby and lost the ball deep in Rattlers’ territory.
A few plays later, Richardson reached the end zone from 4 yards out, pushing the Soul lead to 16 and sending the Rattlers to their second straight loss.
The Arizona Rattlers return to Talking Stick Arena May 21 to face conference rival L.A. KISS at 6:00 p.m.