Photo: 23 Treyvon Williams puts a hard hit on Wrangler quarterback 2 Caden Walters
Luck of the draw, or not as the NAZ Wranglers battled the top dog of the IFL, the Arizona Rattlers and dropped a 51-20 season opener at the Prescott Valley Events Center, Sunday afternoon.
A very good crowd stayed from start to finish to enjoy the game and festivities as the Wranglers and Rattlers brought us all another step back to normalcy.
“This is a lot of fun, getting back in here to see a live sporting event. I had a feeling there would be a lot of people here today. Good for everyone who came out today.”, said Jennifer White.
The Rattlers struck early and often building a commanding 21-0 lead after one quarter. Drew Powell guided the Arizona offense like a well oiled machine. When Powell was not picking apart the secondary, he was keeping the ball, that resulted in a pair of rushing touchdowns. running back Nick LaSane was a powerful force on the ground, scoring three touchdowns.
Wrangler quarterback Verlon Reed Jr. was pressured for much of the first half, giving way to Caden Walters for the final series of the first half. Walters led the Wranglers down the field but his pass into the end zone at the end of the half was intercepted.
The second half was a much more even contest as Rattlers coach Kevin Guy opted for their reserves and quarterback Ben Holmes.
A promising start to the second half for the Wranglers as Walters scored on the opening possession when he zig zagged his way on a 15 yard scamper for the touchdown.
For most of the remainder of the game, Wrangler offense could not find a rhythm, which cost the home squad time and time again. Credit that to the Rattlers relentless defense.
The final score of the game came when Walters hit a wide open Terrance Bynum in the end zone on a 9 yard strike.
The last time the Rattlers played was in the IFL Championship in 2019, when Arizona lost to Sioux Falls 56-53 in Glendale. Arizona will travel to meet the Storm next Saturday at 5:10pm.
The Wranglers will look for their first win as they visit the Bismarck Bucks on Saturday at 5:05 pm.
ARIZONA RATTLERS 51, NAZ WRANGLERS 20
Score by Quarters- 1 2 3 4 – T
Arizona 21 23 7 0 – 51
NAZ 0 7 7 6 – 20
Arizona Rattlers 51, NAZ Wranglers 20
Bismarck Bucks 58, Green Bay Blizzards 46
Frisco Fighters 36, Spokane Shock 33
Iowa Barnstormers 56, Sioux Falls Storm 36
NAZ Wranglers Schedule
Sun. May 16 ARIZONA RATTLERS L 20-51
Sat. May 22 at Bismarck Bucks 5:05 pm
Sat. June 5 SPOKANE SHOCK 6:05 pm
Sat. June 12 DUKE CITY GLADIATORS 6:05 pm
Sat. June 19 at Spokane Shock 8:05 pm
Sat. June 26 TUCSON SUGAR SKULLS 6:05 pm
Sat. July 3 at Duke City Gladiators 6:05 pm
Sat. July 10 ARIZONA RATTLERS 6:05 pm
Sat. July 17 DUKE CITY GLADIATORS 6:05 pm
Sat. July 24 at Frisco Fighters 6:05 pm
Sat. July 31 at Tucson Sugar Skulls 6:05 pm
Sat. Aug 7 at Duke City Gladiators 6:05 pm
Sun. Aug 15 MASSACHUSETTS PIRATES 3:00 pm
Sat. Aug 21 TUCSON SUGAR SKULLS 6:00 pm
Aug 28 TBD