Arizona Rattlers

Years of Existence: 2017-
Venue: US Airways Center (Phoenix, AZ)
2017 - IFL Champions
2018 - Playoff appearance
2019 - Championship game appearance
2021 - Championship game appearance
2022 - Semifinal appearance
2023 - Playoff appearance
Lifetime Record: 79-21
Home: 45-11
Away: 34-10
Playoffs: 6-5
Average Attendance: 13,751

The Arizona Rattlers left the AFL for the IFL following the 2016 season, keeping coach Kevin Guy, who had led them to several Arena Bowls. In their new league, they lost three of their first five and got out to an unimpressive 4-4 start, losing three games at home. Cody Sokol, however, took the team to amazing heights, winning eight in a row and turning mediocrity into a title season. He passed for 1,462 yards, 35 touchdowns and seven picks in twelve total regular season games. Darrell Monroe led the newly found Rattlers' run game, with 721 yards and eighteen scores. Anthony Amos led all receivers with 19 scores and 602 yards. Arkeith Brown picked five passes and Allen Chapman intercepted eight, as well, for what became a strong defense. The defense racked up 27 regular season sacks, with an additional three in the United Bowl at Sioux Falls. After falling at Sioux Falls in week one of the season, Arizona built a 34-7 halftime lead and stunned fans. Despite a furious comeback that saw the lead cut to 34-28, Arizona hung on for a 50-41 victory, dethroning the Storm for the first time in seven years. Arizona remained in the league for 2018, after some offseason controversies in which the Rattlers' ownership was accused of bribing West Michigan and Bloomington's franchises into joining the IFL and leaving the CIF. The CIF sued and both teams were precluded from playing at all in 2018. On the field, Jeff Ziemba took the Rattlers through an 11-3 regular season. He completed 61% of his passes for 1,745 yards, 39 touchdowns and eight interceptions. However, at season's end, Ziemba suffered a season-ending injury and Vernon Reed took the reigns going into the postseason. Darrell Monroe again led the ground game, rushing for 782 yards and 28 scores. He, too, though, would fall in the first quarter of the playoff game the Rattlers hosted against Sioux Falls. After losing three regular season games to Iowa, but beating Sioux Falls twice, Arizona hosted the Storm and had a chance to win the game on a 24 yard field goal with time running out. The kick went wide and the game went to overtime where Arizona scored first, but the extra point was blocked. Sioux Falls would score on their first play of overtime and won on the extra point kick, 69-68. The Rattler posted an unbeaten regular season in 2019, with Jeff Ziemba playing ten games, passing for 791 yards, 16 scores and four picks. Verlon Reed Jr. passed for 380 yards and eleven touchdowns. Jabre Lolley and Jamal Miles combined for 25 rushing scores and 581 yards. Jamal Miles also led all receivers with 38 catches for 435 yards and 15 touchdowns. After a 62-45 victory over Nebraska, the Rattlers would fall 56-53 to Sioux Falls in the United Bowl. The team returned in 2021 with Drew Powell at quarterback. He threw for 1,881 yards, 32 scores and nine picks. He also ran for an astounding 973 yards and 38 scores. The team again advanced to the United Bowl and hosted it, but fell to Massachusetts 37-34 on a 31 yard field goal in overtime. The Rattlers returned in 2022 and posted a 13-3 regular season record. Drew Powell quarterbacked the team for the entire season, throwing for 2,630 yards, 53 touchdowns and was intercepted nine times. Haley Braxton caught 66 balls for 1,030 yards and 21 scores. Powell also netted 734 yards and 27 rushing touchdowns. Treyvon Williams racked up 6.5 sacks on defense. The team played an exclusively western conference schedule, except for splitting a home and home with the Frisco Fighters. The Rattlers blasted through seven of their first eight games, losing only at Tucson. The eleven point loss was later repaid with a thirty point drubbing by Arizona. The team qualified for the playoffs and crushed Duke City 53-14 in the first round. In the semifinals, however, Arizona would fall 52-51 at home against Northern Arizona. The Rattlers lost their kicker in their final extra point try of the night on a roughing the kicker call and were forced to go for two and did not convert. Arizona trailed by the point with 45 seconds left, but a late interception sealed the loss. Drew Powell returned to quarterback the team in 2023, this time passing for 2,128 yards, 45 touchdowns and nine picks. He also led all rushers with 575 yards and 27 scores. Jorge Reyna did see time and filled in, throwing for 892 yards, 19 scores and five interceptions. Braxton Haley was again among the top receivers for the Rattlers, hauling in 40 catches for 502 yards and twelve scores. Jamal Miles led all receivers with 17 scores, while Isiah Scott brought in 13. Dillon Winfrey was a standout on defense, picking off eight passes. Chris Terrell sacked opposing QBs seven times. It was a wild rollercoaster of emotions for Rattlers fans, as almost every single game was decided late or by a narrow margin. This included a double overtime victory against Northern Arizona. When all was said and done, Arizona was the top seed in the Western Conference, but after beating Northern Arizona the previous week, the Rattlers were shocked at home by the same opponent and had an early playoff exit, 62-53.