Kansas City closes out regular season in Arizona
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Command (3-15) wrapped up a disappointing season on the road, losing 47-22 to the Arizona Rattlers (13-5) who were led by quarterback Nick Davila’s 363 passing yards and seven touchdown performance Saturday night at US Airways Center. Arizona has already earned a playoff berth, and need a loss by the Utah Blaze tomorrow to earn the National Conference Western Division Championship outright.
Kansas City’s defense held the Rattlers scoreless in the first quarter and the Command jumped on the board with a seven yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Gutierrez to Jackie Chambers with 2:26 left in the first quarter. Command DB Rashad Barksdale’s aggressive play kept the Rattlers from finding a rhythm early, breaking up key fourth down passing attempts, giving KC’s offense a few more opportunities in the first half. Barksdale and J.C. Neal both surpassed Ken Fontenette’s single-season franchise record of 110 tackles, set in 2011; ending with 116.5 and 113.5 total tackles respectively.
Chambers gave an Ironman effort and finished the night with nine receptions for 88 yards and two touchdowns (one rushing). His five kickoff returns for 144 yards extended his record of at least 100 kickoff return yards to seven games, and at least 100 all-purpose yards to ten straight.
Rattlers QB Davila threw a touchdown pass to four different Arizona receivers; led by Maurice Purify who hauled in four TD’s and has recorded a touchdown pass in every game this season for Arizona. Davila broke his own single-season franchise record of 4,916 passing yards, set in 2011, and now has 5,500 passing yards heading into the playoffs.
Command defensive end Chris Lyle returned a Davila fumble 49 yards with 56 seconds left in the second quarter put KC up 20-13. Rattlers QB Davila quickly connected with Jason Geathers for a 20-yard touchdown, but the blocked extra point sent KC into halftime with a 20-19 lead. Lyle’s fumble recovery was his fourth of the season; bringing the Command’s League-high fumble recovery total to 18.
A one-sided shootout unfolded in the second half. It only took three plays for Arizona to take a 26-20 lead to jump start the third quarter with a touchdown toss from Davila to Chris Carter, and the rout was on. Kansas City’s offense was held scoreless through the entire second half, and linebacker Tyler Knight’s sack of Davila and subsequent safety kept KC from being completely shutout. Arizona outscored Kansas City 28-2 in the second half and will have to wait for the outcome of tomorrow’s Utah Blaze/Philadelphia Soul game to get their final seeding for the playoffs.