Rattlers rock Kiss 7-25Posted: Updated:
The world champion Arizona Rattlers methodically dismantled the LA Kiss, 70-25, Sunday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Arizona (10-0), which has won a franchise-record 14 straight games dating back to last season, now is one victory shy of the best start in Arena Football League history, set by the 1994 Orlando Predators who began the season 11-0.
Los Angeles (2-8), meanwhile, has dropped seven consecutive games after a 2-1 start in its first season in the League.
Arizona did it again with defense. After intercepting the AFL's all-time leading passer, Aaron Garcia, three times in the first half, the Rattlers turned up the heat in the second half, taking over on downs four times and holding the KISS to one touchdown that came with 6:45 left in the fourth quarter.
Two of those interceptions were made by defensive back Marquis Floyd. The player from West Georgia returned his first one 15 yards for a touchdown to give Arizona a 14-7 lead with 4:10 left in the first quarter. Floyd then picked off his second pass four plays later and returned it 49 yards, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by fullback Alex Singleton – one of three touchdowns by the rookie from Tulsa -- on the first play of the second quarter to stretch the lead to 21-7.
Defensive back Jeremy Kellem accounted for the third interception, his second of the season, when he grabbed an errant Garcia pass off the nets on fourth down late in the second quarter.
Floyd, who moved into sixth place on the League's career interceptions list (46) last week with an interception against the Spokane Shock, now has six of the Rattlers' 11 interceptions in the past three games. He also had six tackles against the KISS.
The offense also kept the KISS' defense on its heels all night. Quarterback Nick Davila completed 16 of 25 passes for 236 yards and six touchdowns before handing the reins to Jason Murrietta in the fourth quarter for the second straight week. Davila now has thrown 77 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. He also hasn't been sacked in eight straight games.
Wide receiver Kerry Reed had another solid performance for the Rattlers. After catching two touchdown passes in last week's victory over the Shock, the player from Michigan State hauled in seven catches for 101 yards and four scores against the KISS. Wide receivers Rod Windsor and Nick Miller, and Singleton, also caught one touchdown pass apiece.
Garcia, meanwhile, had a long night in his second game since being acquired May 12 from the Jacksonville Sharks. The 43-year-old took a brutal hit from rookie defensive end Quinn Pitcock on the KISS' second possession and suffered bruised ribs.
The 19-year veteran completed only 13 of 25 pass attempts for 173 yards and one touchdown pass. In last week's loss to the Pittsburgh Power, Garcia completed only 24 of 48 pass attempts for 252 yards and four touchdowns, but he also threw three interceptions and was sacked three times.
Arizona, which has scored 70 points in three of its last four games, will host the San Jose SaberCats on Saturday at US Airways Center. Kickoff for the national broadcast on CBS Sports Network is set for 6:30 p.m.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
Arizona 14 21 21 14 70
LA KISS 7 12 0 6 25
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Quarterback Nick Davila (Az)
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Defensive back Marquis Floyd (Az)
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: Wide receiver Kerry Reed (Az)
Cutters Catch of the Game: Wide receiver Kerry Reed (Az)
AFL Highlight of the Game: Donovan Morgan's (LA) one-handed catch
ABOUT THE ARIZONA RATTLERS
The Arizona Rattlers are the 2012 and 2013 ArenaBowl champions and are proud members of the Arena Football League (AFL). ArenaBowl XXVI marked the Rattlers' eighth appearance in the AFL Championship Game, winning in 1994, 1997, 2012 and 2013. For ticket information, call 602-514-TDTD (8383), or visit www.azrattlers.com.
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