Rattlers pull away from Predators, improve to 13-2

ORLANDO – The Arizona Rattlers posted their highest point total of the season and improved to an Arena Football League-best 13-2 with an 84-56 rout of the Orlando Predators on Saturday night at the Amway Center.

Rattlers quarterback Nick Davila went 23 for 31 for 411 yards with nine touchdowns and one interception in the blowout win. Wideout Tysson Poots hauled in nine catches for Arizona, while Maurice Purify and Rod Windsor had seven and five, respectively. All three finished with three

touchdowns catches. Windsor and Odie Armstrong also rushed for one each for the Rattlers. And with 12 made extra points, kicker Garrett Lindholm extended his consecutive made PATs streak to 36.

The Predators’ troubles started early, as on the fourth play of the game, the Rattlers’ Virgil Gray picked off QB Aaron Garcia in the end zone. It would be the first of three interceptions for Garcia on the night. Arizona took full advantage of the turnover, with Davila connecting with Windsor on a 26-yard pass to give the Rattlers a 7-0 lead.

The Predators were unable to handle the ball on the ensuing kickoff, and Rattlers defensive lineman Tyre Glasper swooped in to recover the loose ball and make it a 14-0 ballgame.

But Orlando bounced back, as a rushing touchdown from Mykel Benson and an interception from Dominic Jones that set up another score allowed the Predators to tie things up at 14-all.

The two teams traded scores throughout the half, and with just under three minutes to play before intermission, it was 28-all. But the Rattlers regained the momentum with a one-play, 48-yard drive, as Davila found Purify to put Arizona back on top. The defense then responded with a big stop, giving the Rattlers the ball back with 37 seconds left in the half, and with the clock winding down, Davila again found Purify to extend the Rattlers’ lead to 42-28 at the break.

Arizona didn’t let up in the second half, scoring on its opening drive when Poots made a spectacular juggling catch in the end zone to cap a 21-0 run and make it 49-28. The Predators responded with a score on their next possession, but the Rattlers answered, never letting Orlando get cloer than 14 the rest of the way.

Garcia finished 25 for 40 with five touchdowns but three interceptions. T.T. Toliver led the Predators with nine receptions for two TDs, while Benson ran for two scores.