Quarterback Nick Davila, the game's MVP, threw nine touchdown passes to lead the Arizona Rattlers to a 72-54 win over the Philadelphia Soul in ArenaBowl XXV at the New Orleans Arena Friday night, giving the Rattlers their first AFL title since 1997.â†µ
The Rattlers made their seventh appearance in the league's championship game and won their third title. Davila's favorite target was receiver Maurice Purify, who caught nine passes for 143 yard and an ArenaBowl record seven touchdowns.
Davila's performance was nearly flawless. He completed 23 of 30 passes for 266 yards. Arkeith Brown had two interceptions for Arizona, which picked off three Soul passes in the game.â†µ
The Rattlers defense held the league's top-scoring offense to 54 points, though Philly averaged 68 per game going in.â†µ
It had to be sweet redemption for the Rattlers, who lost last year's ArenaBowl on the final play of the game at the US Airways Center. This year, the Rattlers came into the championship game as a No. 2 seed in the National Conference, having been strongly tested by San Jose and Utah in the playoffs. The Soul were No. 1 in the American Conference and had a 17-3 record going into the championship game.â†µ
Kerry Reed, Markee White and Odie Armstrong also scored touchdowns for the Rattlers, who led 27-13 at halftime and put the game away for good in the third quarter when they scored 27 points.â†µ
The game was broadcast on the NFL Network and got a late start live due to NFL preseason action. It looked like there were plenty of seats open without the presence of the hometown New Orleans VooDoo in the game.â†µ