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Vegas Knight Hawks Spoil Arizona Rattlers Homecoming, Arizona loses 45-43

Vegas Knight Hawks kicker Kevin Macias drilled a 32-yard field goal as time expired to open up their season with a win.

The Arizona Rattlers debuted their 2024 homecoming in a brand new setting for the first time since their establishment on March 24. The Rattlers formerly played at Footprint Center in Phoenix before moving to Desert Diamond Arena in 2024. 

The storyline for the Rattlers coming into this game revolved around who was going to start for them at quarterback. Dalton Sneed, the blockbuster quarterback signing this past free agency, went down with an injury last week and was a game time decision headed into their home opener against the Knight Hawks.

Rattlers’ coach Kevin Guy started Garrett Kettle for the game. Kettle threw for 38 yards and a touchdown last week after Sneed’s injury. But after an underwhelming first half, Coach Guy gave Lorenzo Brown the go at quarterback to start the third quarter.

Brown, who was just signed to the Rattlers the week of the game, has a history against the Rattlers as he defeated them in the 2019 United Bowl where he went on to win MVP of that game. 

The Rattlers could not get past their own mistakes in the second half, as a toss play to Jamal Miles resulted in the ball bouncing off of Miles’ facemask, which Jerry Garner of the Knight Hawks was able to recover. 

In the fourth quarter, Brown’s pass bounced right off the hands of Glen Gibbons Jr. at the goalline and right into the gloves of James Ceaser of the Knight Hawks for an interception. 

Despite the mistakes, the Rattlers were in a prime position to win the game after Brown was able to find Gibbons Jr. for a contested catch, 11 yard touchdown with 52 seconds remaining. 

Chaos ensued in the final drive of the game, as Knight Hawks’ coach Mike Davis almost ran the clock too far down on multiple occasions. Despite the confusion, quarterback Ja’Rom Johnson of the Knight Hawks was able to get his kicker into a prime position to win the game.

Before the ensuing kick, coach Guy called a timeout in an attempt to ice Macias. But by calling the timeout, Guy inadvertently saved the Knight Hawks from a delay of game penalty. 

Which of course Macias drilled right through the middle to win the Knight Hawks the game. 

Both teams will play on March 31, as the Knight hawks will host their home opener against the Jacksonville Sharks and the Rattlers will travel to San Jose where they will face the Bay Area Panthers.

The Rattlers will hope to find solutions to their current quarterback situation before their next matchup. 

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