Rattlers throttle Wranglers
PHOENIX- Siaha Burley continued his assault on the Rattlers record books, while Sherdrick Bonner threw five TD passes in his first action in four weeks as the Arizona Rattlers won their second straight game, 52-26 over the Austin Wranglers. Burley had six catches for 47 yards and for TDs, giving him 35 on the season. Calvin Schexnayder holds the team record with 44, a record he set in 1998. The Rattlers defense held Austin to a season low 26 points, making four stops along the way.
The Wranglers came out firing in the games opening possession, as John Fitzgerald led Austin on a seven play, 45 yard drive, cultivating in an Angel Rubio six yard TD pass. Arizona tied it up when Sherdrick Bonner found Siaha Burley from 14-yards out for the score. From that point on it was total domination on both sides of the ball by Arizona.
Austins next drive stalled, and kicker Todd Sievers missed a field goal, giving Arizona the ball and a chance to take the lead. Bonner took the ball in from one yard out for a 14-7 lead, and the Rattlers never looked back. The lead stretched to 21-7 when Bonner found Randy Gatewood for a nine yard scoring strike with 1:06 left in the first half. Austin answered back with a Darrin Chiaverini TD reception, but kicker Gary Kral, who was signed as the emergency kicker earlier in the afternoon, nailed a 47 yard field goal as the half ended to give Arizona a 24-13 lead at intermission.
The Rattlers started the second half just as hot as they were in the first, as Bonner and Burley hooked up again for the touchdown, giving Arizona a 31-13 edge. Austin could not answer however, as Fitzgerald was intercepted by Orshawante Bryant. Arizona capitalized on the turnover, as Bonner found Burley again for the score. That put the Rattlers up 38-13, and from there Arizona cruised to the 52-26 win.
Bonner was 20-31 for 224 yards and five scores in his return to action, while his counterpart Fitzgerald ended up 27-43 for 235 yards, four touchdowns and a pick. Bryant caught four passes for 71 yards for Arizona, while Kevin Nickerson hauled in eight receptions for 69 yards.
The Rattlers now head to Los Angeles to take on the Avengers in a Western Division battle next Saturday Night. Arizona will look to win its third straight and improve to 5-8.
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