The sixth seeded Arizona Rattlers used three defensive touchdowns and a safety to lead them to a 69-26 first round victory over the Las Vegas Gladiators. The Rattlers set a new franchise record for points in a playoff game
, and tied the second largest playoff margin of victory in Arena Football League history.
Ricky Parker had three catches for 18 yards and a touchdown, plus an interception he returned 47 yards for another score. Parker led the Rattlers defense to a season high four sacks of Gladiator quarterback Todd Hammel.
Frank Trentadue had a career day, recording two sacks, causing a fumble, and recovering a fumble for a touchdown.
Quarterback Sherdrick Bonner threw for 190 yards on 17-26 with three scoring tosses, helping the Rattlers to a 28-7 halftime edge. The Rattlers ended the first Las Vegas drive when the Gladiators couldn’t get a first down at their own 10, turning it over on downs. A Ricky Parker TD catch put the Rattlers up 7-0, a lead they would never relinquish.
Jay McDonagh started the Second Quarter for the Gladiators, taking over for Todd Hammel. The Rattlers gave him a rude welcome, as Bo Kelly forced him to fumble in his own endzone, resulting in a safety. After the Gladiators intercepted Bonner, McDonagh came out again, and this time was sacked by Nikia Adderson, causing a fumble. Trentadue recovered the ball in the endzone for the touchdown, and Arizona had a 21-0 lead. McDonagh came out of the game, having thrown no passes, getting sacked once and fumbling twice.
The Rattlers kept the pressure on for the remainder of the afternoon, sending them to a victory, and to Los Angeles Avengers, the fourth seeded team in the league. Arizona won the first meeting in LA, but the Avengers took the re-match at the Snake Pit.