Cedar Rapids falls flat against Arizona 56-0

by Dakota Zientek

CEDAR RAPIDS - In the Week 15 matchup between the Cedar Rapids River Kings and the Arizona Rattlers, the Rattlers kept their undefeated record intact, as they clinch a first-round bye in the IFL Playoffs. With the River Kings’ playoff hopes already crushed, this game was more-or-less in preparation for next season. 

In the first quarter, there was a glimmer of hope for the underdog River Kings (1-11), but as they were in the red zone a bad snap cost them a majority of the field in yardage, as they got pushed back all the way to their half of the field. Drew Powell was able to get the first touchdown for Arizona (12-0) with a 10-yard run. Their second touchdown of the quarter was a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Roland Genesy. Both of the field goal attempts by the River Kings were unsuccessful, as the first kick was blocked and the second went wide left.

To end the first half, the River Kings got two more of their field goals blocked, keeping them scoreless, but Arizona was able to tack on two more touchdowns. The first was another 1-yard rush by Roland Genesey, and the second touchdown was a 45-yard pass from Powell to Harrington. 

At the beginning of the second half, the Arizona Rattlers really blew things out of the water for the River Kings; their third quarter resulted in three more touchdowns. The first of the third quarter was a 26-yard interception return by Davontae Merriweather, which brought the score to 35-0 in favor of Arizona. That interception put Dalton Oliver on the bench and Ben Wilkerson found himself as the quarterback for the rest of the game. The next touchdown for Arizona was another 1-yard rush, but this time, Jamal Miles was credited with the touchdown. The third and final touchdown of the third quarter goes to Devin Cockrell with the 38-yard fumble recovery. This defense was making themselves known by Cedar Rapids. 

For Cedar Rapids, their third quarter could be seen as their best quarter of play. On defense, La'Darius Newbold was able to pick off the Rattlers quarterback, but the interception was called back due to a penalty. The play after, Cedar Rapids was able to recover a fumble, which, after review by the referees, was confirmed. That fumble recovery set up a huge 33-yard catch by Ezell Ruffin. However that big play did not put the River Kings in the end zone, as they coughed the ball up, which then turned into seven points for the Rattlers.

In the final quarter, the Rattlers scored on a 4-yard rush by Roland Genesy, and that brought Arizona to what would be the final score, which was 56-0. Wilkerson made some big runs in the quarter but they were not able to result in any points

Next week, the River Kings start a two-game series against the Green Bay Blizzard at home. The game will be kicking off at 7:05pm CST. To catch next week's game, head on over to the U.S. Cellular Center next Saturday, June 8, at 7:05pm CST. If you're unable to make the game in person, feel free to watch the game on the IFL's YouTube Channel