By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
They have been waiting a very long time to be the champions of the Arena Football League. But the 15-year drought is over, as the Arizona Rattlers have been crowned as the championships and given the Foster Trophy after defeating the Philadelphia Soul, 72-54, last night at ArenaBowl XXV in New Orleans.
The NFL Network broadcasted the game to the national audience.
Just last year, the Rattlers lost to the Jacksonville Sharks, 73-70, on the final play of the game, and wanted to revenge that lost, even when it was a different opponent. Now, they dominated the Soul throughout, as the Soul were inconsistent throughout, giving the Rattlers their third ArenaBowl championship and first since 1997.
Rattlers quarterback Nick Davila went 23 of 30 for 266 yards and 9 touchdowns. His 9 touchdowns tied Spokane Shock’s Kevin Rowley for the most touchdown passes in a game.
Rowley threw 9 touchdowns in the ArenaBowl in 2010. Davila had 8 touchdown passes last year in the ArenaBowl, and tied Jay Gruden for the second most touchdowns in a career in ArenaBowl history.
Dan Raudabaugh, the Soul quarterback, went 26 of 42 for 285 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also threw 3 interceptions.
Arkeith Brown picked Raudabaugh off twice. Kevin McCullough also intercepted Raudabaugh.
Yet, Maurice Purify stole the show. He had 9 receptions for a 143 yards and 7 touchdowns. The Soul defensive backs had trouble defending him all night.
His 9 touchdown receptions are a new ArenaBowl record.
Fellow Rattlers wide receiver Kerry Reed added eight receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown. Markee White added three receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Odie Armstrong added a rushing touchdown, as well. He had 4 rushes for 6 yards and 2 receptions for 8 yards.
For the Soul, Jeff Hughley had eight receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown. Donovan Morgan added 7 receptions for 66 yards. Larry Brackins had 4 receptions for 33 yards and 4 touchdowns. Emmery Sammons added 6 receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown.
Derrick Ross had a rushing and receiving touchdown. He had 4 carries for 21 yards with the touchdown, and a 31-yard receiving touchdown.
Brackins had three 4th quarter touchdowns. He caught a 12-yard pass, an 8-yard pass, and a 3-yard pass, all from Raudabaugh.
Purify caught two touchdowns. He caught two 13-yard passes from Davila. Armstrong also added a two-yard rushing touchdown.
Purify had three third quarter touchdowns. He caught a 38-yard pass, a 29-yard pass, and a 6-yard pass from Davila. White also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Davila.
Sammons caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Raudabaugh in the third. Brackins also added a 10-yard touchdown, and Ross added a 31-yard touchdown.
Purify added a 29-yard touchdown pass to Davila in the second quarter. Chris Gould also made a 30-yard field goal, then closed out the half with a 20-yard field goal.
Hughley caught a 26-yard pass from Raudabauh in the quarter.
Reed caught a 14-yard pass from Davila in the first quarter. Purify added a 4-yard reception from Davila.
Ross scored on a 7-yard run in the first. The Soul were inconsistent all night long, which led to the Rattlers winning their first championship in 15-years.