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Rattlers snap losing streak, escape from Iowa 49-47

DES MOINES, IOWA – The Arizona Rattlers’ three-game losing streak is over.

Using an effective screen passing game and big performances from backup quarterback Garrett Kettle and running back Shannon Brooks, Arizona escaped the Iowa Barnstormers 49-47 on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

It looked like Dalton Sneed would return from injury and start at QB for Arizona after warming up in the pregame, but Kettle played the entire game instead. Kettle started hot with a 38-yard TD pass on a screenplay to Jamal Miles.

After Iowa tied it, the teams traded defensive stops before Brooks scored on a short run early in the second quarter.

The Rattlers forced a missed Iowa field goal and Brooks returned into the end zone from a yard out to give Arizona a 21-7 lead.

The Rattlers’ third stop of the first half set up Kettle for a 9-yard TD run and a 28-7 lead.

Iowa “doubled down” with the final score of the half and first TD of the third quarter when QB Kyle King threw a pair of touchdown passes to bring the Barnstormers within 28-20.

The teams traded two TDs each – one each from Brooks, Robert Washington, Miles and Darren Wilson – and the Rattlers led 42-34 with twelve minutes remaining.

Rattlers kicker Dawson Evitts had a field goal blocked and King scored on a scramble to get Iowa within 42-40. The two-point conversion pass was broken up and Arizona led by two with six minutes remaining.

Brooks then executed the play of the game: a bulldozing 46-yard TD run, steamrolling a defender and then using a burst of speed to outrun the entire Iowa D down the middle of the field.

Leading 49-40, Arizona King allowed another rushing TD after one minute, but the potential tying goal on the ensuing kickoff was not close and the Rattlers then ran out the clock.

Brooks finished his night with four total TDs (3 rushing, 1 receiving), while Kettle did his best to deliver three total TDs. Evitts, a rookie, was 7 for 7 on PATs and hasn’t missed an extra point in five games this season.

The win moves the Rattlers to 2-3, while Iowa drops to 0-4.

Arizona returns home to Desert Diamond Arena on Sunday, April 28 at 3:05 PM to face the Jacksonville Sharks.