Rattlers pull away from Shock, avenge only loss

PHOENIX — The Arizona Rattlers entered Saturday night’s game with just one blemish on their nearly perfect record: a loss to the Spokane Shock earlier this season. They got the redemption they wanted with a 59-42 win at US Airways Center, improving to 12-1 on the year and clinching a playoff spot in front of 10,654 fans.

Rattlers quarterback Nick Davila went 24 for 42 for 233 yards and six touchdowns, while Shock QB Erik Meyer finished 29 of 43 for 256 yards, five passing touchdowns, one interception and one rushing touchdown. Arizona receiver Rod Windsor had seven catches for 59 yards and three touchdowns, and Spokane wideout Adron Tennell caught 15 passes for 110 yards and four touchdowns.

The teams were locked at 14-all in the first quarter after both teams scored on a 1-yard rushing touchdown and then a touchdown pass. Windsor and Odie Armstrong had the early scores for the Rattlers, and Meyer and Tennell found the end zone to keep the Shock in it.

A 21-yard reception by Arizona offensive lineman Cornelius Dixon set up another Armstrong touchdown, and Garrett Lindholm hit an 18-yard field goal after a Shock turnover on downs to extend the Rattlers’ lead to 24-14 with less than a minute remaining in the first half.

Meyer responded with a touchdown throw to Kamar Jorden to bring the Shock back within three points at 24-21, but Davila got the 10-point lead right back on his second touchdown throw to Windsor of the first half, sending the Rattlers into the locker room with a 31-21 advantage.

The second half didn’t start out well for Spokane, as Arizona defensive pick Virgil Gray picked off a Meyer pass on on the first play of the half. The Rattlers didn’t waste any time turning the turnover into points, as Davila found Windsor for a 5-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 38-21. Tennell got Windsor right back in it, though, with two straight touchdown catches of his own to bring the Shock back to within three at 38-35.

With help from a Tyre Glasper sack and a missed field-goal return of 50 yards by Gray, Davila threw two straight touchdown passes to Trandon Harvey and Kerry Reed to help the Rattlers pull away with a 52-35 advantage.

And this time, Meyer and Tennell weren’t able to rally the Shock. After a turnover, Harvey hauled in his second touchdown catch of the game to give the Rattlers a commanding 59-35 advantage.

Meyer and Tennell tacked on a late touchdown for Spokane to make it 59-42, but that was as close as the Shock would get.