Rattlers rout Sabercats, stay unbeaten
APR 07, 2013 1:58a ET
Sabercats quarterback Aaron Garcia completed 25 of 42 passes for 279 yards and six touchdowns, but turnovers told the story in this one, as Garcia was intercepted three times, two of which were brought back for scores.
The Rattlers got on the scoreboard first, as former SaberCats defensive back Marquis Floyd returned a deflected Garcia pass 40 yards for the opening score. The Sabercats responded quickly, however, as Garcia hooked up with wide receiver Fred Williams from 18 yards out to knot the score at 7-all midway through the first quarter.
The teams traded scores once more, with Arizona getting a touchdown pass from Nick Davila to Tysson Poots, to tie things at 14 after one quarter of play.
The Rattlers scored quickly in the second quarter, as Davila again found Poots, this time from 12 yards out, to put Arizona in front 21-14. After Garcia threw his second interception of the first half, the Rattlers capitalized, as Davila connected with Kerry Reed on a 24-yard strike to extend the lead to 28-14 with 7:56 to play in the second quarter. Reed struck again on the next drive, intercepting Garcia from his jack linebacker position and returning it 43 yards for the score, pushing Arizona's advantage to 35-14.
Garcia got the Sabercats back in it with a 12-yard touchdown toss to wide receiver Jason Willis, but the Rattlers got a pair of rushing touchdowns by fullback Odie Armstrong sandwiched around a 24-yard touchdown pass from Garcia to Huey Whittaker to take a 49-28 lead into the half.
The teams traded scores to open the second half, and the Rattlers pushed the lead to 59-35 on a 24-yard field goal by kicker Garrett Lindholm with just under four minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Arizona defense then came up big, stopping San jose on a key fourth down in the red zone to maintain the 24-point advantage heading into the fourth.
The Rattlers then put it away, with Reed finding the endzone for the third time on the night -- and second offensively -- on a 9-yard strike from Davila in early in the quarter. The Sabercats responded with Garcia's sixth touchdown pass of the evening, cutting the deficit to 66-41, but they would get no closer.