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Rattlers snap losing streak, edge Iowa 49-47


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

Utilizing an effective screen pass game and big performances by 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 appeared Dalton Sneed would return from injury and start at QB for Arizona after he warmed up in pregame, but Kettle played the entire game instead. Kettle started hot with a 38-yard TD pass on a screen play to Jamal Miles.

After Iowa equalized, the teams exchanged defensive stops before Brooks scored on a short run early in the second quarter.

The Rattlers forced a missed field goal by Iowa and Brooks got back in 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 up” with the last score of the half and the first TD of the third quarter as QB Kyle King tossed a pair of touchdown passes to bring the Barnstormers within 28-20.

The teams exchanged two TDs each — one each by Brooks, Robert Washington, Miles and Darren Wilson —  and the Rattlers led 42-34 with 12 minutes left.

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 6 minutes left.

Brooks then made the play of the game — a bulldozing 46-yard TD run where he steamrolled a defender then used a burst of speed to outrun the entire Iowa D down the middle of the field. 

Leading 49-40, Arizona allowed King another rushing TD at the one minute mark but the potential tying deuce 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 stepped up to deliver 3 total TDs. Evitts, a rookie, was 7 for 7 on PATs and has not missed an extra point in five games this season.

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

Arizona returns home to Desert Diamond Arena for a matchup with the Jacksonville Sharks at 3:05 p.m. on Sunday, April 28.