It was fourth down and six from the Arizona 21 five minutes into the game. A simple screen pass that Nathan Stanley threw to a wide open Travis Bond. It was a perfect pass, but it fell what was thought to be innocently to the turf. Yes, it was only five minutes into the game, but that pass might have the turning point of the game. Arizona had already went straight down the field on two plays and lead 7-0 less than a minute into the game. Los Angeles HAD to answer, they knew it was going to be that kind of night, but when Bond couldn’t corral the wide open pass, it gave Arizona the ever so slight edge it needed to blow the game open.
Sure, Los Angeles was down only 14 points at halftime, but if you were watching the game you knew that something had to break in the second half. Arizona would go on short drives and score at will, while only one of LA’s touchdown drives was less than four plays. The bid to show the world that the KISS were for real in 2016 ended shortly after the second half began when Nathan Stanley threw his first of three interceptions. By the time it was over a guy named Pete Thomas was throwing ducks to LA receivers as Shane Boyd was getting reps in the fourth quarter for the second week in a row.
This was supposed to be the game of the week, the game that would showcase the “new” LA KISS under first year head coach Omarr Smith. But it turned into a typical Rattlers game against anyone except for San Jose. I think the Rattler players are wearing contact lenses with the SaberCat logo on them or something because the KISS are not as bad as they looked last night. It doesn’t help that Rod Windsor looks like man possessed, he saw his week one performance of 7 catches, 86 yards, and 4 touchdowns as a warmup. He walked out of the Honda Center late last night with 13 catches 151 yards and 4 more scores. Who is going to stop this Rattler team in 2016? We thought after watching Orlando handle Tampa Bay, that maybe their defense would hold up against the Latin Laser and AFL mastermind Kevin Guy, but they just got 50 points hung up on them by Portland. Barring a huge injury, this is Arizona’s year and the rest of the teams are just playing as a footnote in the record books that the Rattler’s are sure to rewrite.
For Los Angeles, they need to get that game out of their heads immediately. That might have been something the team needed as most around the Arena Football League was tooting their horn after taking it to Jacksonville in Week 1. Hopefully Donovan “Captain” Morgan will be ok after limping off the field late in the 4th quarter because that young WR core they have will need his leadership and playmaking ability to rebound next week against Cleveland. The good news is, Portland looked like a CIFL team against Arizona Week 1 and almost took out Orlando in Week 2. They won’t be playing Nick Davila and Rod Windsor against Cleveland, so look for Los Angeles to try and bounce back in week three.
Looking ahead to next week, Arizona is getting a glorified bye week when the already struggling Tampa Bay Storm come into the snake pit with a massive question mark at quarterback. Maybe Tampa can get up one week and make a game out of it, but at least as of today, I just don’t see that happening. Arizona is on a mission to embarrass every team they face this year and next week they will play a very sloppy emotionless team in the Storm. As for the KISS, they will be featured on National TV again for the third week in a row as they travel to Cleveland to take on Dennis Havrilla and the 1-1 Gladiators for sole place in second behind Arizona in the National Conference.
Under Armour Offensive Player of the Game: Nick Davila, Arizona
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Allen Chapman, Arizona
Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: Donovan Morgan, Los Angeles
Cutters Catch of the Game: Donovan Morgan 28-yd TD reception with 11:52 left in the 2nd Quarter
AFL Highlight of the Game: Anthony Amos 54-yard Kickoff Return touchdown