Anaheim, CA -The Big, Bad reigning back-to-back Arena Bowl Champions Arizona Rattlers (10-0) struck the LA KISS (2-8) hard, thundering down a 70-25 win at the Anaheim Honda Center. The KISS are still looking for the right mix on offense and defense to secure their next win. The Rattlers came in all business and continue to show the AFL how to get it done week in and week out. The KISS did show a little flashes of greatness on the field tonight.
The game started with the KISS scoring first on a two-yard run by their new weapon, Andres Vargas, a big tackle converted to the tight end-fullback hybrid position. Vargas’ number was called a few times tonight during short yardage situations. It took the Rattlers midway through first quarter before they scored when Kerry Reed hauled in a 20-yard touchdown pass at 7:50 mark.
Then a few series later, the KISS, looking to respond back, gave up a pick six to Rattlers’ defensive back Marquis Floyd. Now with the lead at 14-7, the Rattlers never looked back after that point. When the teams went to halftime the Rattlers had stretched the lead to 16 points, 35-19.
The change at quarterback for the KISS brought in future AFL Hall of Fame Aaron Garcia. Garcia had an okay game when he wasn’t picking himself off the rug from a big hit. Garcia went 13 of 25 for 173 yards, 1 TD. Backup Tyler Hansen added a small spark with two touchdown (1 yard rush, 2 yard pass). The constant star for the KISS are still Donovan “Captain” Morgan, who finished the game with eight catches for 89 yards and a TD.
Return man AJ Cruz is always a threat on kickoff return to go the distance. Cruz had 10 returns for 270 yards and a long gainer for 52 yards that nearly resulted in a score for the KISS.
Once the Rattlers got going, those snakes slithered through the desert rather easily and with little resistance. Quarterback Nick Davila slashed the KISS’ defensive backfield up for six touchdown, amassing 236 yards on 16 of 25 pass attempts.
Davila spread the ball around tonight with four different receivers catching touchdown passes. He did have a favorite was Reed, who led all receivers with four touchdowns himself on 101 yards receiving.
The KISS have another week of practice with the new members on the roster before they travel up north to face the San Jose Sabercats (7-3). In the team’s first meeting, it was a close battle that ended with a KISS defeat, 48-32.