New Orleans, LA- The Arizona Rattlers won their first ArenaBowl title in 15 years by upsetting the heavily favored Philadelphia Soul 72-54 at the New Orleans Arena in ArenaBowl XXV.
It was a chance at redemption for the Rattlers, who had lost in their last four trips to the ArenaBowl. None was more devastating than in ArenaBowl XXIV, when they lost at home to the Jacksonville Sharks on the final play of the game; an Aaron Garcia touchdown pass to Jeron Harvey. The following year, they returned to the big game, but as the decided underdog to the 15-3 Soul, who had the highest scoring offense in AFL history.
Arizona came out of the gate with an interception by Arkeith Brown, which led to the first of seven touchdown passes from Nick Davila to Maurice Purify. The Rattlers rode the momentum to a 27-13 lead at halftime, and were not going to allow a repeat of what had happened the previous year.
The Rattlers took control in the third quarter as Davila found Purify for touchdowns three times to increase the lead from 14 at halftime to as large as 28, to the point where the fourth quarter was essentially meaningless.
When the smoke cleared, Davila had thrown an ArenaBowl record nine touchdown passes en route to being named game MVP, and the Rattlers had come away with their first championship since 1997.