saw the San Jose SaberCats
and Arizona Rattlers
competing for the 2004 Arena Football League
championship. Until 2010, this game marked the last time the ArenaBowl
was held at the home arena of the higher-seeded team, rather than a neutral site, and 17,391 fans packed the sold-out America West Arena
as the visiting SaberCats defeated the homestanding Rattlers, 69-62 in a rematch of ArenaBowl XVI
ArenaBowl XVIII featured the league's two top-seeded teams and one of its more storied and bitter rivalries. The Rattlers were looking for redemption, having been demolished by San Jose 52-14 in ArenaBowl XVI
and again falling short, 43-29 to the Tampa Bay Storm
in the previous year's contest. Meanwhile, the SaberCats were seeking revenge after the Rattlers had swept them during the regular season, winning the Western Division championship and the top seed in the playoffs in the process.
The game did not disappoint, as the two teams' offenses matched each other blow-for-blow virtually all game. Perhaps the most stereotypically "arena football
" of all ArenaBowls
to date, neither defense proved capable of slowing the opposing offense, and the game appeared as though it would be decided by which team had the final possession.
The final play of the first half, however, proved to be decisive. Rattlers legend Hunkie Cooper
had scored a rushing touchdown with seven seconds remaining in the half to tie the game at 28. However, the SaberCats
were able... Read More