By Zachary Weiss
The Pittsburgh Power were making a big comeback attempt against a battle tested Arizona Rattlers team before quarterback Bryan Randall threw his second interception of the game to seal their fate.
This and many other key mistakes game the Rattlers a 55-45 victory and drop the Power to 2-9 on the season.
“We had an opportunity to probably close the gap a little bit and who knows what would have happened if we had the ball back on the onsides kick,” Power Interim Head Coach Derek Stingley said. “The main issue is the fact that they felt that they had that game and there was no quit in them. I can’t say there were any moral victories, because we lost the game. I can’t celebrate a loss.”
The teams started matching each other score for score, and as the game entered the second quarter it all came down to field position, something the Power were unable to acquire all game. The Power had a drive that started on their own three yard line in the second quarter and that was where the ball stayed for four downs resulting in a turnover and a quick score from the Rattlers.
The Power trailed at halftime by a 38-28 score but would receive the ball to start the second half.
The Power had the ball but Randall threw his first interception and combined with the poor field positioning, it changed the flow of the game.
The third quarter clearly belonged to the Rattlers who led by quarterback Nick Davila outscored the Power 14-3.
“We did have poor field position and kickoffs were kind of hurting us, we weren’t doing too well,” Stingley said. “I was surprised because I was so far into the game to where I didn’t know we only scored three points in the third quarter. I thought we had an opportunity to score coming out of halftime.”
The Power were able to come back strong in the fourth quarter and their defense shut down the high powered Rattlers offense twice while holding them below their average amount of points scored.
The Power were slowly starting to make their comeback, however a perfectly placed kick by Geoff Boyer that was recovered by the Power was negated because fullback Tyre Young was called offsides.
The Power survived this though and kept things close before the Randall interception which effectively ended the Power’s chances of forcing an overtime.
Up next will be the second Power matchup against the conference rival Cleveland Gladiators Friday at 8 PM. The Gladiators defeated the Power in Pittsburgh 58-43. The game was won in the second quarter when the Power were outscored 23-6 after the Power had dominated the first quarter by a 21-7 second; a complete 180.
Stingley looks back at the matchup.
“It’s all about attitude and they didn’t panic,” Stingley said. “I think that’s where our team is going. We can turn this thing around and win these next couple of games and right now they understand that it’s all about the attitude.”
The Power and Gladiators rank 1st and 2nd respectively in pass defense. Stingley referred to the Gladiators defense as the “Tampa 2″ which was what won the Buccaneers a Super Bowl.
Regardless of the defensive battle that likely will ensue, Stingley realizes the rivalry between Pittsburgh and Cleveland and has stated his expectations accordingly.
“They need to be very physical and it’s going to be a war because it’s always that way between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. If anything should happen to go wrong, keep fighting.”
In addition to the quotes I got above, Stingley gave me these quotes as well during a one-on-one interview following his weekly press conference:
On the progression of Offensive Coordinator Mike Tomczak:
“He’s getting better and he is starting to understand the coverages that the arena football game has to offer. He’s moving a lot better and a whole lot faster than people who would come from the outdoor game would. He’s a great student.”
On trying to avoid getting in the hole against the Gladiators:
“We need to make the reads easier for [Bryan] Randall and take what the defense gives us. Cleveland has a tough defense and they do a lot of things up front with a physical secondary so we need to be smart with the ball.”
Stingley stated in his press conference this week that he will once again be calling plays offensively and defensively.
Power wide receiver Mike Washington has now caught a touchdown in eight consecutive games.
Wide receiver P.J. Berry was held scoreless in last week’s game for just the third time all season.
The Power are trying to ensure that they will have their own fans at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Friday. For $40, fans will get a game ticket, transportation food from DiBella’s Subs and a Pittsburgh Power rally towel. For more information, visit http://pittsburghpowerfootball.com/tickets/cleveland-bus-trip/.
The Power will be back at home Saturday June 16 against the Milwaukee Mustangs. Kickoff is 7:30 PM at Consol Energy Center. There will be a monkey rodeo at halftime. Also it is “Wish Night” and fans can send wish requests relating to the team to [email protected].
Power vs Arizona Rattlers scoring 6/2/12
Rattlers: Reed 29 yard TD pass from Davila (Chris Gould kick is good) 7-0
Power: Washington 41 yard TD pass from Randall ( Geoff Boyer kick is good) 7-7
Rattlers: Purify 23 yard TD pass from Davila (Gould kick is good) 14-7
Power: Young 6 yard run (Boyer kick is good) 14-14 14:18
Rattlers: Reed 32 yard TD pass from Davila (Gould kick is good) 21-14 12:44
Rattlers: Harvey 1 yard TD pass from Davila (Gould kick is good) 28-14 8:16
Power: Hymes 14 yard TD pass from Randall (Boyer kick is good) 28-21 5:22
Rattlers: Harvey 15 yard TD pass from Davila (Gould kick is good) 35-21 0:56
Power: Young 4 yard run (Boyer kick is good) 35-28 0:43
Rattlers: Gould 18 yard field goal 38-28 0:00
Rattlers: Booker 2 yard run (Gould kick is good) 45-28 10:42
Power: Boyer 28 yard field goal 45-31 2:00
Rattlers: Harvey 57 yard kickoff return (Gould kick is good) 52-31 1:47
Power: Hymes 8 yard TD pass from Randall (Boyer kick is good) 52-38 6:31
Power: Washington 9 yard pass from Randall (Boyer kick is good) 52-45 2:36
Rattlers: Gould 17 yard field goal 55-45 0:52
American Conference- East Division Standings
Philadelphia Soul 9-3
Cleveland Gladiators 6-5
Milwaukee Mustangs 4-7
Pittsburgh Power 2-9