You couldn’t help but feel like Indiana Jones when looking at this week’s opponent. “Snakes, why does it have to be snakes?” Unlike the movies, the snakes beat the heroes as the Power fell to Arizona 73-69.
Saturday night’s highly anticpated showdown between the Arizona Rattlers (5-0) and the Pittsburgh Power (3-2) lived up to the hype and more. Both offenses came to play but ultimately it was two-time defending champs making a few more plays to provide the final difference on the scoreboard.
Pittsburgh fell behind 27-7 in the first quarter after failing to convert two fourth down conversions and had longtime Power fans wondering how much fight was in the tank. Pittsburgh refused to say die and fought and clawed their way back to a 47-42 halftime deficit.
Both quarterbacks had masterful performances in this game. Tommy Grady had his best game of the year completing 26 of 44 passes for 339 yards and nine touchdown passes. Nick Davila was just as good completing 24 of 31 for 325 yards and nine touchdowns of his own.
Power wideout Aaron LeSue set a franchise single game record by hauling in six touchdown receptions and finished with 15 catches for 168 yards to pace all receivers. Shaun Kauleinamoku added seven catches for 97 yards and three touchdowns before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a leg injury.
The Rattlers receiving triumvirate of Tyson Poots (eight catches, 97 yards), Rod Windsor (eight catches, 81 yards), and Maurice Purify (seven catches, 123 yards) were fantastic with all three hauling in three touchdowns each. Their offense clicks at a different level compared to the rest of the league which is really fun to watch unless you’re the team facing them.
Special teams played a huge factor in this game as well with both teams scoring a touchdown on kickoff returns. Arizona’s Craig Ratanamorn missed three extra points and had a fourth one blocked by Anthony Hoke which kept the game within striking distance for Pittsburgh. Julian Rauch made all of his extra points in the contest and had several clutch touchbacks to keep Arkeith Brown off the field.
The bad news for Pittsburgh besides this final score was the Cleveland Gladiators getting a miracle catch off the net to stun the Spokane Shock 52-50 with no time left and remain undefeated. Pittsburgh will try to hand Cleveland their first loss of the year next week when the Power travel to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland next Saturday.
Photo Credit Stacie Scott/AZCentral Sports