Led by former Arizona assistant coach Omarr Smith, the LA KISS were touted as the league’s most improved team and the biggest threat to the Rattlers’ stranglehold on the conference.
Saturday night, Coach Kevin Guy’s squad showed they are still the team to beat, outscoring LA 34-7 in the 2nd half, coasting to a 69-28 victory at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Similar to last week’s win in Portland, quarterback Nick Davila was efficient as ever; completing 20-of-26 passes for 193 yards and five touchdowns.
The Rattlers opened the scoring barrage with a 4-yard strike from Davila to receiver Rod Windsor to take a 7-0 lead just :49 into the game.
On the ensuing drive, KISS lineman Travis Bond dropped a screen pass on 4th down, turning the ball over on downs. Arizona took advantage. Davila led a 29-yard drive that ended in the first of Mykel Benson’s three rushing scores and a 14-0 advantage.
The teams traded scores until the second half, when Arizona cornerback Arkeith Brown picked off Nathan Stanley on the initial drive of the third quarter. The Rattlers scored six plays later on a 19-yard Davila-to-Windsor hookup to take a 41-21 lead.
LA pulled back within two scores on their next drive, with Stanley hitting Brandon Collins on an 8-yard TD pass. Arizona’s Anthony Amos then took the ensuing kickoff back 54 yards for a touchdown, killing any momentum LA created.
The defense was key once again as the unit forced three turnovers on downs, collected three sacks and kept superstar wideout Donovan Morgan in check for most of the game. Leading the charge was former ASU defensive lineman Luis Vasquez, who had two sacks and safety Allen Chapman, who picked off two passes.
“We were playing well up front tonight,” general manager and head coach Kevin Guy said. “Pressure, pick, cover, sack; we are doing it as a team.”
The Rattlers welcome the Tampa Bay Storm (0-2) to Talking Stick Resort Arena next Saturday for the team’s home opener.