ArenaBowl XI

Last updated
ArenaBowl XI
ArenaBowl XI.png
1234Total
IOWA7671333
ARI321211055
Date August 25, 1997
Arena US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
MVP

Donnie Davis, QB, Arizona

Attendance 17,436
Winning coach Danny White
Losing coach John Gregory
TV in the United States
Network ESPN
Announcers Mike Adamle, Mike Golic, Adrian Karsten

ArenaBowl XI was the Arena Football League's eleventh ArenaBowl. The game featured two American Conference teams, the #2 Iowa Barnstormers (11-3) against the #1 Arizona Rattlers (12-2). Iowa was coming from losing ArenaBowl X to the Tampa Bay Storm and were still looking for their first championship title, while Arizona was making its second appearance after winning ArenaBowl VIII against the Orlando Predators three seasons ago. Now, they were trying to acquire their second league title.

The New York Dragons were a professional arena football team based in the New York metropolitan area. The Dragons participated Arena Football League's (AFL) National Conference as a member of the Eastern Division. The team was founded in 1995 as the original iteration of the Iowa Barnstormers, and relocated to New York in 2001. They played in New York until 2008, when the league folded. They played in the Eastern Division of the National Conference, and played their home games at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Their last coach was Weylan Harding.

Arizona Rattlers

The Arizona Rattlers are a professional indoor American football team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are currently members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Rattlers were founded in 1992 as an expansion team in the Arena Football League and were the third oldest active franchise in the AFL until their departure in 2016. They play their home games at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Rattlers are led by head coach Kevin Guy. Since the team's establishment in 1992, the Rattlers have won ten division titles and have played in nine ArenaBowl Championship games, winning championships in 1994, 1997, 2012, 2013, 2014. The Rattlers also won the 2017 United Bowl in their first season in the IFL.

ArenaBowl X

ArenaBowl X was the Arena Football League's tenth ArenaBowl. The game featured the #2 Tampa Bay Storm of the National Conference against the #1 Iowa Barnstormers of the American Conference. Both teams ended their regular seasons at 12-2, yet Iowa had a better conference record. For the Storm, they were hoping to get their fourth championship title in six overall appearances, while the Barnstormers were trying to win their very first league championship game.

Contents

Game summary

In the first quarter, the Rattlers slithered first with Kicker Anthony Brenner getting a 19-yard Field Goal, yet the Barnstormers responded with Quarterback Kurt Warner completing a 30-yard touchdown pass to OS Lamont Cooper.

Kurt Warner American football quarterback

Kurtis Eugene Warner is a former American football quarterback. He played for three National Football League (NFL) teams: the St. Louis Rams, the New York Giants, and the Arizona Cardinals. He was originally signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 1994 after playing college football at Northern Iowa. Warner went on to be considered the best undrafted NFL player of all time, following a 12-year career regarded as one of the greatest stories in NFL history. Warner was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017, and is the only person inducted into both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Arena Football Hall of Fame.

In the second quarter, Arizona lead off the period with FB/LB Bob McMillen getting a one-yard touchdown run, while Iowa kicker Mike Black nailed a 25-yard field goal. The Rattlers would begin to take command with QB Donnie Davis (who was filling in for an injured Sherdrick Bonner) completing a 4-yard touchdown pass to WR/LB Hunkie Cooper, while the Barnstormers' only response was Black kicking a 20-yard field goal. Immediately afterwards, the Rattlers continued striking as Hunkie Cooper would return the kickoff 56 yards for a touchdown to end the half.

Robert James McMillen, Jr. is a former arena football fullback/linebacker and head coach. He was most recently the head coach of the Los Angeles Kiss of the Arena Football League (AFL). He played his college football at Illinois-Benedictine, and was an AFL fullback/linebacker from 1995 to 2007. He has been a football coach since 2010, first serving as an assistant for the Chicago Slaughter in 2010, as an assistant with the Rush in 2011, before being named head coach of the Rush in 2011. In 2013, McMillen was elected into the Arena Football Hall of Fame.

Mike Black is a former American football placekicker who played twelve seasons in the Arena Football League with the Charlotte Rage, Iowa Barnstormers, New York CityHawks, New England Sea Wolves, Buffalo Destroyers, Tampa Bay Storm and Grand Rapids Rampage. He played college football at Boise State University. He was a four-time First Team All-Arena selection.

Donnie Davis was the starting quarterback for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in 1993 and 1995. He later played in the Arena Football League for the Arizona Rattlers, Milwaukee Mustangs, and Georgia Force.

In the third quarter, Arizona continued its domination as Davis got a one-yard Quarterback sneak run for a touchdown, while Hunkie Cooper returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown. Iowa's only response from the period was Warner completing another 30-yard touchdown pass to Lamont Cooper. Afterwards, the Rattlers wrapped up the period with Davis completing a 49-yard touchdown pass to WR/LB Calvin Schexnayder.

Calvin "Shakes" Schexnayder is a former American football wide receiver in the Arena Football League. He played college football at Washington State.

In the fourth quarter, the Barnstormers tried to fight back with WR/DB Willis Jacox getting a one-yard touchdown run, yet Arizona wrapped the game up with Davis and Schexnayder hooking up with each other again on a 28-yard touchdown pass, while Brenner would put on the finishing touches with a 44-yard field goal. All that was left of Iowa's attack was Warner completing a nine-yard touchdown pass to WR/LB Leonard Conley.

Willis Jacox is a former professional American football player.

With the win, the Rattlers got their second Arena Bowl title in franchise history.

Scoring summary

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

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