Minor League Sports

Cedar Rapids Titans bit again by Arizona Rattlers, 57-42

Defending IFL champions score 30-unanswered points as Titans (1-8) lose seventh game in a row

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Titans should have cut the snake’s head when they had the chance.

Perhaps the Arizona Rattlers were overlooking the one-win Titans when the defending Indoor Football League champions trailed for all but the final two seconds of an 84-83 come-from-behind shootout victory last Saturday at Phoenix.

Seven days later, Cedar Rapids received the Rattlers’ full attention.

Arizona broke a 20-20 tie with 30 unanswered points and defeated Cedar Rapids, 57-42, Saturday night at the U.S. Cellular Center.

“Coming back from playing them last week, I knew it would be a totally different game,” Cedar Rapids Coach Marvin Jones said. “It’s just unfortunate sometimes that in a game against Arizona, a couple turnovers here and that is all it is for a game like this. Guys played their hearts out, but you can’t play in spurts. You’ve got to play all four quarters.”

The loss was the seventh in a row for Cedar Rapids (1-8). One week after scoring a franchise-record 83 points, the offense turned the ball over three times and had both a field-goal attempt and an extra-point attempt blocked.

Cedar Rapids quarterback Jake Medlock — who entered the game with a league-low two interceptions — was picked off twice against Arizona, including once on a deflection. Medlock finished with 218 passing yards and four touchdowns. Receivers Javon Bell and Marquel Wade both caught a pair of scoring strikes as the Titans got as close as 50-42 with four minutes left in the game.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to guts. Who wants the game more,” Jones said. “They’ve got enough guys over there that went to the championship and they understand what winning is about. Once you’re a winning team, you never want to have that losing feeling again. These guys, no matter how may points you’re up on them, they don’t feel like they’re going to lose. Until we have enough guys that think that way, it’s difficult.”

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Medlock leads the IFL with 31 touchdown passes and also added a rushing score, his 10th of the season.

Cedar Rapids tailback Raphael Lawson-Gayle — listed at 5-foot-9, 175 pounds — spun, juked and bowled his way through the Arizona defense for 52 yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversion. The former Southwest Minnesota State University player — clocked at 4.22 seconds in the 40-yard dash in January — leads the team with 300 rushing yards this season, which ranks fourth in the IFL.

“I pride myself on being the fastest person in the league,” Lawson-Gayle said. “I try to use what I can to my advantage to find the holes that the linemen make.”

One week after setting a single-game IFL record with 11 rushing touchdowns against Cedar Rapids, 6-foot-2, 220-pound tailback Darrell Monroe ran for 107 yards and three touchdowns for Arizona (8-1), which won its seventh game in a row.

Monroe leads the IFL with 509 yards and 24 touchdowns on the ground.

Arizona quarterback Jeff Ziemba threw for 124 yards and three touchdowns without an interception.

Cedar Rapids visits the Iowa Barnstormers this Friday at 7:05 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

AT U.S. CELLULAR CENTER

Arizona Rattlers 57, Cedar Rapids Titans 42

Arizona 20 14 16 7—57

Cedar Rapids 14 6 6 16—42

AZ — Dezmon Epps 16 pass from Jeff Ziemba (Sawyer Petre kick)

CR — Raphael Lawson-Gayle 2 run (Zeke Arevalo kick)

AZ — Darrell Monroe 7 run (Petre kick)

CR — Marquel Wade 26 pass from Jake Medlock (Zrevalo kick)

AZ — Ziemba 17 run (Petre kick)

CR — Medlock 1 run (Kick blocked)

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AZ — Jarrod Harrington 15 pass from Ziemba (Petre kick)

AZ — Monroe 4 run (Petre kick)

AZ — Chris McAllister 1 fumble return (Kick failed)

AZ — Monroe 1 run (Sawyer kick)

AZ — FG 37 Petre

CR — Javon Bell 25 pass from Medlock (Pass failed)

CR — Bell 8 pass from Medlock (Bell pass)

CR — Wade 28 pass from Medlock (Lawson-Gayle run)

AZ — Anthony Amos 2 pass from Ziemba (Petre kick)

TEAM STATISTICS

RUSHING — Arizona: Darrell Monroe 20-107; Jeff Ziemba 6-39; Dezmon Epps 1-17; Anthony Amos 1-12; Jamal Miles 3-1. Cedar Rapids: Raphael Lawson-Gayle 11-52; Jake Medlock 3-(-2).

PASSING — Arizona: Jeff Ziemba 12-20-0-124; Cedar Rapids: Jake Medlock 21-31-2-218.

RECEIVING — Arizona: Jamal Miles 6-60; Dezmon Epps 3-47; Jarrod Harrington 1-15; Anthony Amos 2-2; Cedar Rapids: Marquel Wade 7-85; Jordan Smith 5-47; Javon Bell 4-42; Raheem Harvey 3-34; Raphael Lawson-Gayle 2-10.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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