PHOENIX — The return of quarterback Jason Boltus was a welcome sign for the Storm on Saturday, but unfortunately for Tampa Bay its opponent was Arizona. The Rattlers improved to 3-0 with a 60-27 victory Saturday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Arizona leads the league in both offense and defense and won its first two games by an average of 45 points. Tampa Bay (0-3) was held below 30 points for the third straight game. Boltus completed just 11 of 37 attempts while Arizona's Nick Davila went 28-of-37 for 248 yards and seven touchdowns.
But for a few moments the Storm was in it, having overcome a 13-0 deficit thanks to a big tackle by James McClinton on fourth and 1, sandwiched around the Storm's lone touchdowns of the first half.
A broken play turned into a 41-yard connection with Boltus and Phillip Barnett and it was 13-13 with 10:46 remaining in the half. Then on the ensuing kickoff Craig Peterson blasted the ball high off the top bar, and it bounded straight to midfield where Barnett had it momentarily before losing control. Arizona went on to score the first half's last 20 points, the key play a fumbled snap that led to linebacker Tyre Glaspear's 32-yard touchdown and a 26-13 Arizona lead.
Tampa Bay had a couple of notable second-half highlights: A sensational kickoff return by Cameron McGlenn down to the 1-yard line and a goal-line strip of Davila by Padric Scott giving Tampa Bay a second stop. Arizona had only been stopped once in its first two games.
But it wasn't nearly enough against a fierce Rattlers defense, which added an interception return for a touchdown by Kerry Reed with a minute to go. Rod Windsor finished with 13 catches for 141 yards and four scores to lead the Rattlers on offense.
V'Keon Lacey had five catches for 80 yards and a score and Barnett had four catches for 70 yards and a TD.