For the first two weeks of the season, the Arizona Rattlers played without two of their best offensive players.
In Week 3, both were back and they made their presence felt immediately.
Receivers Rod Windsor and Kerry Reed returned from injuries and combined for 20 catches for 255 yards and seven touchdown catches in the Rattlers’ 49-41 win over the Cleveland Gladiators at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Rattlers scored first with 11:43 to go in the first quarter on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Nick Davila to Reed. They would never trail in the game.
Cleveland answered on their first possession, with Jeramie Richardson scoring on a 2-yard run, but kicker Adrian Trevino missed the point after.
Arizona padded their lead in the second quarter. Davila hit Windsor on an 11-yard touchdown strike to put the Rattlers up 21-13. Cleveland then stalled on the following drive, as Shane Austin’s fourth-down pass intended for Amarri Jackson from the Rattlers’ 7-yard line fell incomplete.
Two plays later, Davila found Reed on a 30-yard touchdown, building the Rattlers’ lead to 28-13.
The Gladiators (2-1) were seeking revenge from last season’s 72-32 blowout loss to the Rattlers (2-1) in the ArenaBowl, but it wasn’t to be.
Davila finished the night 28-of-38 for 352 yards and the seven touchdown passes.
The Rattlers return home to host the Portland Thunder (2-1) Saturday, Apr. 18 at US Airways Center. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.