Too Little, Too Late for Power
Rattlers Take Down Power in the Desert
PHOENIX (June 3, 2012)- As a new era started for Pittsburgh under the new direction of Interim Head Coach Derek Stingley, the same result loomed for the Power Saturday night as they dropped their sixth straight game at the hands of the Arizona Rattlers.
Despite a late push from Pittsburgh that put them within a score of tying the game, Nick Davila and the Rattlers proved to be too much in the end winning 55-45 and tying Philadelphia with their league-leading ninth win.
The Power’s demise came from a mixture of turnovers, penalties and a constant Rattler pass rush.
The Rattlers came out firing as Davila connected with Kerry Reed on the first play of the game for a score. Bryan Randall and the Power answered right away as Mike Washington pulled off a double move on the backside of the defense to tie up the game on a 41-yard strike. Davila gave the Rattlers the lead after one, putting them up 14-7 with a pass to Maurice Purify.
The Power hit the ground running in the second quarter literally as they pounded the rock with fullback Tyre Young to tie up the game at 14. Young would find the end zone twice in the second quarter.
Davila and the Arizona offense continued to click throughout the first half. Arizona found the end zone successfully on their first five possessions. Davila added three more touchdown passes in the second quarter, two to Trandon Harvey and a second to Reed to give him five in the first half. Davila’s aerial assault put the Rattlers up 38-28 at halftime.
Looking to cut the ten-point deficit coming out of the locker room to start the third, Randall was picked off at the goal line, which enabled the Rattlers to march the length of the field and expand on their lead with a John Booker touchdown run.
After a Geoff Boyer field goal cut the Rattler lead to 14, Harvey would put the lead back up to 21 when he returned the ensuing kickoff to the house, his third score of the game.
The Rattler defense led by Marcus Pittman and reigning Defensive Lineman of the Year Cliff Dukes constantly got pressure on Randall forcing two turnover on downs on the night.
But as the fourth quarter started, it was the Power defense that started to make the biggest impact on the game. Pittsburgh was able to stop the Rattlers on two straight drives from the red zone, including a four-and-out and a forced fumble.
Randall and the Power were able to make it a one-score game as the rookie quarterback completed touchdowns to Randy Hymes and Washington to make the score 52-45.
Despite spending a lot of time on his back, Randall finished 22/45 for 307 yards and four touchdowns. Both Washington and Hymes each had two scores on the night.
In between the scores, the Power attempted a tricky onside kick with Boyer that involved him back-heeling the ball the opposite way the return team expected it to go. It was successfully recovered by Bryan Williams who returned it to the one-yard line, only for it to be called back because Pittsburgh was offsides.
Boyer attempted the same kick down seven, but it was unsuccessful.
After an Arizona field goal, the Power looked to get back into it late, but on their final drive, Randall’s pass attempt was intercepted by Arkeith Brown locking up the Arizona victory.
Coming up just a little bit short once again, the Power will have to turn a few numbers around next week. The Power turned the ball over three times and were also penalized 17 times on the night. Without these handicaps, the game could have possibly been a lot closer for Pittsburgh.
With the loss, the Power fall to 2-9 on the season. With the hopes of finishing the season .500, the Power are back on the road next week to take on division rival Cleveland on Friday night.