PHOENIX – Nick Davila threw for eight touchdowns, five in the second half, as the Arizona Rattlers defeated the Spokane Shock 68-49 on Sunday in an Arena Football League game at the US Airways Center.
The Shock (1-1) built a 21-19 lead before the Rattlers scored with 12 seconds left in the first half to take the lead for good at 26-21.
Arizona (2-0) pulled away with a 42-point second half.
The Rattlers are the two-time defending AFL champions and eliminated the Shock from last year’s playoffs.
Shock quarterback Erik Meyer completed 27 of 44 passes for 352 yards and six touchdowns.
Four of Meyer’s touchdown passes went to Mike Washington, who had 102 yards receiving. Brandon Thompkins also had a TD catch and 123 yards. Adron Tennell caught a touchdown pass and Washington rushed for another to round out the Shock scoring.
Davila finished with 225 yards on 22-of-27 passing. Four of his scoring passes went to Maurice Purify.
Spokane opened the game with a quick scoring drive, with Meyer hitting Thompkins for a pair of first downs before finding Washington in the end zone.
After the Rattlers responded with a touchdown, Spokane scored again with Thompkins taking in a pass and breaking a tackle along the wall on his way to a 33-yard score and 14-7 lead.
The Rattlers then scored on a 1-yard run but missed the PAT.
The Shock came back on their ensuing drive with Meyer scrambling before finding Tennell for a 10-yard score and 21-13 advantage.
Arizona followed with another touchdown but failed on a two-point conversion to trail by two.
The Shock turned over the ball on downs but Spokane defensive lineman Diyral Briggs intercepted Davila with under a minute left in the half.
However, the Shock gave the ball back on a Thompkins fumble and the Rattlers scored four plays later to take the lead at halftime.
Then came the deluge of Rattlers scores in the second half, with Arizona scoring 21 points in both the third and fourth quarters.
The two National Conference rivals will meet three times this season.
The Shock have a bye week before traveling to play Pacific Division rival San Jose on April 4. Their next home game comes on April 12 against Portland, the other Pacific Division team.