Rattlers Weather the Storm, 48-40
Sioux Falls, S.D. - The six-time and defending world champion Arizona Rattlers (5-1) took a commanding lead in the Indoor Football League standings with the 48-40 win over the Sioux Falls Storm (4-2) at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls. The Rattlers have now swept the Storm in the regular season and have won the tiebreaker for homefield advantage.
The Rattlers had to face two storms this weekend as a blizzard blew in over South Dakota, which forced the airport to close. Arizona's plane was diverted back to Phoenix, and the game would be postponed to Monday. Despite having to travel twice, the Rattlers would still find themselves victorious over the Sioux Falls Storm as the clock hit all zeroes.
Both teams came in to this game tied for first place. However, since the Rattlers defeated the Storm in week one, they now essentially hold a two-game lead over Sioux Falls in the standings.
The Rattlers were effective offensively both in the air and on the ground. QB Jeff Ziemba threw for 109 yards and three touchdowns. RB Darrell Monroe averaged 5.5 yards per carry on the ground and had four rushing touchdowns.
The Storm also saw some success on offense. QB Lorenzo Brown threw for 122 yards and a touchdown passing, and 41 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. RB Lyle McCombs would amass 69 yards and a touchdown rushing. Three turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble) would be the difference.
The Rattlers defense was led by DB Arkeith Brown, who had nine tackles and an interception. DB Nathan Lindsey would catch the other interception.
Rattlers struck first after an interception by DB Nathan Lindsey in which he fumbled but was recovered by DE Josh Gordon. Seven plays later, Jeff Ziemba would throw an eight-yard touchdown pass to WR Jamal Miles to put the Rattlers up six.
Sioux Falls would quickly respond, first with a 38-yard kickoff return by Lyle McCombs and then, on the next play, a 12-yard rush by Lorenzo Brown to put the Storm up 7-6. After a missed field goal by K Sawyer Petre, Storm RB Lyle McCombs would rush 45 yards for the score to put Sioux Falls up 14-6.
The Rattlers would then regain the lead, first from an eight-yard touchdown rush by RB Darrell Monroe. Then, after another fumble recovery, this time from DE Ed Mosley, Ziemba would throw a 32-yard touchdown pass to WR Dezmon Epps making the score 20-14.
The Storm would pull within three from a 21-yard field goal by Miles Bergner.
Rattlers would then extend their lead late in the half with a two-yard touchdown pass from Ziemba to Amos. The half would end with the score 27-17; Arizona.
Arizona began the second half with the ball and would waste no time, scoring on their second play from scrimmage off a 16-yard run by Monroe. After an interception by DB Arkeith Brown, RB Darrell Monroe would rush the ball three yards for the score giving the Rattlers a 24-point lead.
The Storm would finally get on the board in the second half off of a 33-yard touchdown pass from Brown to WR Mike Tatum.
The Rattlers responded with a seven-yard touchdown run by Monroe following a failed onside kick attempt by Sioux Falls.
The Storm would make it somewhat close in the fourth after scoring on three-straight possessions; an eight-yard run by Brown, a two-yard run by Tatum, and a 33-yard field goal by Bergner. However, that would not be enough to overcome the deficit, and the Rattlers would win 48-40.
The Rattlers will return home this Saturday, April 21st to face the Green Bay Blizzard. Kickoff is slated for 6:05 p.m. The game can be seen live on FOX Sports Arizona Rattlers Channel, streamed live on YouTube and the FOX Sports Go app, or heard live on 1580 The Fanatic 99.3 FM and 95.9 FM.
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Indoor Football League Stories from April 16, 2018
- Rattlers Weather the Storm, 48-40 - Arizona Rattlers
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