ArenaBowl XXIV featured the Arizona Rattlers and Jacksonville Sharks. The game was played at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, AZ.
Arizona got on the board first when fullback Odie Armstrong rushed from two yards out. Jacksonville scored when quarterback Aaron Garcia threw a 41 yard touchdown to Jomo Wilson. Unfortunately, the extra point was no good, so Arizona maintained a 7-6 lead.
They expanded their lead when Nick Davila connected with Kerry Reed for a touchdown. Garcia threw a touchdown to Jeron Harvey to close the gap to 14-12 at the end of the first quarter.
The Sharks took their first lead of the game when Wilson recovered an Arizona fumble and returned it for a touchdown. Following the Rattlers scoring to re-take the lead, the Sharks scored the next 14 points to open up a 32-21 lead with 2:54 left in the first half.
Arizona scored 14 consecutive points of their own to take a 35-32 lead at halftime.
After the two teams exchanged one score apiece in the third quarter, Armstrong rushed for a one-yard touchdown and the Rattlers led 49-38 in the fourth. Jacksonville didn’t go down that easy.
It was back and forth the rest of the way. With 12 seconds left, Davila and Reed hooked up for a 12-yard touchdown. It looked as if the Rattlers were going to win another title.
However, Garcia threw a pass into the end zone as time expired in the game and it landed in Harvey’s hands. The Sharks won ArenaBowl XXIV, 73-70, with a touchdown as time expired.
The multiple comebacks in this game, as well as the most exciting finish in ArenaBowl history, is why this game winds up as the top ArenaBowl game on our list.