Week 16 - Rattlers squeeze Empire, 33-16 Jun 4, 2017 11:43:18 GMT -8
Post by DiamondThief on Jun 4, 2017 11:43:18 GMT -8
SPOKANE, WA - The Arizona Rattlers made their second trip of the season to Spokane, and came away with their second win over the Empire, 33-16.
With the victory, the Rattlers clinched the Intense Conference regular season title and a playoff spot. The Empire are in a battle with the Nebraska Danger for the second and final playoff spot heading into the final two weeks of the season. They each stand at 8-6, with the Danger holding the tiebreaker due to winning the season series, 1-0.
The Empire offense struggled all night, converting on just one of 10 third downs and on one of seven fourth downs.
Arizona scored on its first drive of the game, on a two-yard pass from Cody Sokol to Darrell Monroe. The Empire struck back mid way through the first quarter when Aaron Wilmer found Orlandus Harris Sr. on a 27-yard bomb. Spokane added a 42-yard field goal to end the quarter with a 10-7 lead. The Empire would not score for another two-and-a-half quarters.
The Rattlers scored on a safety when Edward Mosley tackled Wilmer in the end zone. They took the lead with seven seconds left in the first half when Sokol found Anthony Amos for a seven yard touchdown pass. The Rattlers led 16-10 half.
They increased that lead to 23-10 in the third quarter on Antonio Vaughn's three yard run.
The Rattlers went up 26-10 in the fourth quarter on a 34-yard field goal from Sawyer Petre. The Empire cut into that on Trevor Kennedy's two-yard run, but Aaron Wilmer's pass for the two-point conversion fell incomplete. The Rattlers closed out the scoring on Monroe's 41-yard pass from Sokol.
Wilmer, who was making his second start for the Empire, was replaced by new aquisition Marcus McDade late in the fourth quarter.
In a sloppy game by both sides, Arizona nearly doubled the Empire in total yards, 249 to 137. That included a 101 to 14 edge in rushing yards. The Empire were penalized five times for 37 yards, and the Rattlers were flagged three times for 22 yards.
SCtoC's David spoke with Harris after the game.
Sokol completed 13 of 22 passes for 148 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Vaughn had 31 yards on five carries and a touchdown, while Ketrich Harmon rushed eight times for 26 yards. Harmon also caught three passes for 38 yards. Monroe caught five balls for 65 yards to go along with his two touchdowns. Chris McCallister led the Rattlers with 5.5 total tackles a sack and 3.5 tackles for a loss. Arkeith Brown and Allen Chapman each recorded an interception.
Wilmer went 11 of 28 for 115 yards with a touchdown and an interception. McDade completed two of his four passes for 17 yards and an interception. Kennedy, who started at wide receiver, caught seven passes for 86 yards. Harris had four catches for 38 yards and a score. Andrew Jackson and Kaelin Burnett each had 7.5 total tackles for the Empire. John Hardy-Tuliau had an interception and Bill Vavau recovered a fumble.
The Empire (8-6) will visit the Iowa Barnstormers (12-2) on June 9 at 5:05 p.m. The Rattlers (10-4) will host the Cedar Rapids Titans (1-15) on May 11 at 2 p.m. All times are pacific time.
Both of those games, as well as the majority of the league's games this season are available for streaming on the IFL's Youtube channel.
(Graphic courtesy SCtoC)
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