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Rattlers defrost Blizzard for first road victory of season

The Arizona Rattlers overcame a late rally to come away with their first road victory of the season, a 30-29 win over the Green Bay Blizzard Sunday in front of 8,242 fans at the Resch Center to improve to 2-2 on the season.

The teams traded touchdowns and missed extra points to start the game before exchanging stops to put the game at a virtual stalemate until the final minute of the first half. A Sawyer Petre 22-yard field goal with nine seconds to play gave Arizona a 16-13 lead at the half.

Green Bay answered to open the third quarter as Blizzard kicker Zeke Arevalo nailed a 45-yard field goal to tie the game for the third time.

Rattlers quarterback Darron Thomas rebounded from a bad interception in the first half to lead the offense down the field and find Anthony Amos in the back of the end zone from seven yards out to give Arizona a 23-16 lead.

Rattlers coach Kevin Guy attempted to put his team in control for good by attempting an onside kick, but Petre failed to send the ball beyond ten yards and Green Bay took over deep in Arizona territory. Two plays later, Blizzard quarterback Matt Behrendt, who finished with three touchdowns, found wideout Marquel Willis in the end zone to pull Green Bay even again.

The Rattlers responded once more as Thomas converted on a third down pass and drew the Blizzard defense offsides on a crucial fourth down to give Arizona a first-and-goal with six minutes to play. Thomas called his own number, followed his blocks around the right end and plunged into the end zone to give Arizona a 30-23 lead.

The Rattlers defense looked to have the game won on fourth down as blitzing linebacker Joshua Gordon had Behrendt in his grasp and spun down to the ground. The Green Bay signal-caller, however, kept his balance and ran downfield for a first down. A few plays later, Behrendt hit Andre McDonald from three yards out to put the Blizzard in a position to tie with 41 seconds to play.

Arevalo’s extra point hit the left upright and deflected wide to keep Arizona in the lead.

Green Bay attempted an onside kick, but it caromed out of bounds and the Rattlers ran out the clock to improve their record to 2-2 on the season.

The Rattlers return to Talking Stick Resort Arena on Saturday, April 1 to host the Wichita Falls Nighthawks.

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