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Storm vs. Rattlers

Who: Tampa Bay Storm (3-1) at Arizona Rattlers (2-2).

Where: America West Arena, Phoenix.

When: Tonight, 12:02 a.m. (EST) kickoff.

TV: ESPN (live).

Last week: Tampa Bay routed Charlotte 52-19 in front of 20,532 fans at the Florida Suncoast Dome. Arizona won a shootout against Albany, scoring with nine seconds left to defeat the Firebirds 54-50.

Key points: Rookie Hunkie Cooper has led the surging Rattlers to two straight road victories, including catching the game-winner last week. The offensive specialist is most deadly, though, on kick returns, where he averages half-field runs. "He's an absolute threat, if we don't stop him, he'll bust one on us," coach Lary Kuharich said. "We have to do like we did at Charlotte, with the kicking game." Last week, the Storm's special teams prevented Charlotte from scoring a touchdown on a kickoff, and the defense held the Rage to just 19 points. After four games, Tampa Bay has allowed the fewest points in the league _ 99, to Arizona's 168. Rattlers quarterback Paul Justin will test the Storm's defensive strength. Playing with a cast over a fractured left wrist, Justin completed 22 of 33 passes for 294 yards and four touchdowns last week. Arizona is coached by former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Danny White, who returns for his second year. The Rattlers went 4-6 in their inaugural season, including a 59-28 home loss to Tampa Bay. White's younger brother, Chad, who was a quarterback at Arizona State, is the backup quarterback. Fullback Les Barley, whom the Storm acquired from Charlotte for Anthony Howard, will suit up tonight. Willie Cannon, another fullback who signed with the Storm this week, will not play.

Note: Because of the lateness of tonight's game, a complete report will appear in Monday's Times.

_ LIZ ROBBINS

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