Arizona Rattlers: San Jose Sabercats Fall to Overwhelming Arizona Defense

Tyson AbaroaContributor IMay 8, 2011

San Jose Quarterback Mark Grieb was hounded all night by Rattlers Defenders
San Jose Quarterback Mark Grieb was hounded all night by Rattlers DefendersDoug Benc/Getty Images

Ever since returning to the AFL, the San Jose Sabercats have been lurking in the undergrowth waiting to rekindle a heated rivalry against long time enemies the Arizona Rattlers. Finally, after eight weeks of hearing about each other they had their chance to decide the leadership of the NC West.

Within five minutes of the opening kickoff both teams scored a touchdown, but a failed point after attempt left the Rattlers with a single-point lead. But the yellow flag dominated the first quarter against the Rattlers as the Sabercats forced their way up the field.

Finally, the Rattlers were able to stall the Cats drive. The Rattlers offense could not capitalize on the stop as Rod Windsor dropped a pass in the end zone and Nick Davila fumbled on the 10-yard line resulting in a Sabercats touchdown.

The second quarter of play saw the bad intentions by the Arizona Rattlers. The Rattlers defense pummeled the Sabercats and made them pay in time for their single touchdown for the quarter. 

During the quarter, the Rattlers realized they owned the Cats offensive line and had contact on quarterback Mark Grieb until halftime when the scoreboard read 28-21.

The Rattlers defense came out of the locker room swinging. The Sabercats started with possession of the ball, but the Rattlers busted the offensive line and sacked Mark Grieb. The sack was followed on the next play by an interception by Vince Hill.

Following the interception, the Rattlers offense could only score a field goal because of multiple penalties against Arizona.

In the eight minutes that it took for points to get on the board, tempers were beginning to boil over and the game began took on a street-fight vibe. Discipline would be the main factor in whoever left the arena with the victory.

Entering the fourth quarter, the Sabercats trailed the Rattlers by four points as frustration and bad blood began to reach a critical level.  In the fourth quarter, the Rattlers continued to dictate the pace of the game.

After the Sabercats scored a touchdown in three plays, the Rattlers scored in one. Mark Grieb would let loose on a big play and score after four plays and Nick Davila followed with a three-play drive.

With a minute and a half on the clock, the Rattlers defense struck again as Marquis Floyd pulled down an interception in the end zone.  After another penalized drive, the Rattlers were held to a field goal attempt again.

But kicker Fabrizio Scaccia missed the attempt and it was recovered by team mate Kevin McCullough in the end zone to put the game two touchdowns out of the Sabercats reach.

After the Sabercats got possession with 20 seconds on the clock Kevin McCullough intercepted the ball and for the second time in a few minutes he was in the end zone and put the Sabercats two games back in the division.