|Date||August 12, 2011|
|Arena||US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona|
|MVP||Aaron Garcia, Jacksonville|
|Winning coach||Les Moss, Jacksonville|
|Losing coach||Kevin Guy, Arizona|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Paul Burmeister, Kurt Warner, Anthony Herron, Ari Wolfe|
ArenaBowl XXIV was the 24th edition of the championship in the Arena Football League (AFL). The American Conference champion, Jacksonville Sharks, defeated the National Conference champion, Arizona Rattlers, 73–70. It was played on August 12, 2011. The game was hosted at the site of the highest remaining seed throughout the playoffs, which was US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, home of the Rattlers.
The ArenaBowl was scheduled to be played at the site of the highest seed who reaches the championship. Arizona finished with the best record during the regular season. In an interview with AFL Insider on May 9,AFL Commissioner Jerry Kurz said playing ArenaBowl XXV in 2012 at a neutral site is a strong option. The ArenaBowl was played at the highest seed in the game since the AFL's inception in 1987 until 2004. From 2005 to 2008, it was at a neutral site, Las Vegas and New Orleans. In 2010, the ArenaBowl returned to the highest remaining seed setting, as ArenaBowl XXIII was played at the Spokane Arena, home of the Spokane Shock, who won the game.
ArenaBowl XXIV was televised on NFL Network. The game was the highest watched Arena Football League game on the NFL Network, earning a 0.37 rating. That was up 200 percent from ArenaBowl XXIII on NFL Network. The previous record was set a week before when the 2011 AFL American Conference Championship game earned a 0.32 rating between the Georgia Force and Jacksonville Sharks, with the Sharks winning 64-55.
The Arena Football League had fans design the logo for ArenaBowl XXIV in a contest. The league office picked four finalists and fans voted online.
The winner was Myk Crawford, a Spokane Shock fan from Spokane, Washington, which was announced on April 11, 2011.
The story heading into ArenaBowl XXIV was that of Sharks QB Aaron Garcia. At 40 years old, this would be Garcia's first appearance in an ArenaBowl. Garcia began his AFL career in 1995. He holds many of the AFL's all-time passing records and ended the 2011 season with over 50,000 passing and 1,078 career touchdown passes. But with all the stats, he had yet to even play in an AFL championship game before 2011.
2011 was arguably Garcia's best season. He finished the year with a 71.5 completion percentage, 125.24 QB rating and 116 touchdown passes, and 4,933 yards, all career highs.
The Rattlers featured second year AFL QB Nick Davila, who topped Garcia with 117 passing touchdowns during the season. He also completed over 70 percent of his passes and threw over 4,900 yards.
His go-to receiver was Rod Windsor, who had caught 156 passes for 1,830 yards during the season. Windsor was a member of the Cleveland Browns roster during the AFL regular season, but was able to play due to the 2011 NFL lockout. However, the lockout ended just days before ArenaBowl XXIV, and did not play in the title game.
The Rattlers finished the regular season with a league-record 16 wins, and entered the game with an 11-game winning streak, including the playoffs. This was their first ArenaBowl appearance since 2004 when they lost ArenaBowl XVIII. They advanced to the ArenaBowl after defeating the Spokane Shock in the conference semifinals, and the Chicago Rush in the conference championship.
|1||March 12||at Jacksonville||W 55–52|
|2||March 19||Milwaukee||W 62–31|
|3||March 28||at Tulsa||W 69–20|
|4||April 2||Orlando||W 48–47|
|6||April 16||at Kansas City||W 63–49|
|7||April 23||Utah||W 67–61 (OT)|
|8||April 30||at Spokane||L 69–70|
|9||May 7||at San Jose||W 65–43|
|10||May 14||Chicago||L 49–50|
|11||May 20||at New Orleans||W 61–53|
|12||May 28||Cleveland||W 63–42|
|13||June 4||at Utah||W 72–37|
|14||June 11||Iowa||W 61–41|
|15||June 18||San Jose||W 64–57|
|16||June 25||at Philadelphia||W 55–54|
|17||July 2||Spokane||W 68–46|
|18||July 10||at Pittsburgh||W 68–34|
|20||July 23||at Dallas||W 55–49|
|–||July 29||Spokane||W 62–33|
|–||August 6||Chicago||W 54–48|
The Sharks, in just their second year of existence, finished the regular season with a 14–4 record and had the best record in the American Conference, defeating the Orlando Predators and Georgia Force, respectively, to advance to their first ArenaBowl. For 17-year veteran quarterback Aaron Garcia, this was his first ArenaBowl.
|1||March 12||Arizona||L 52–55|
|2||March 19||Georgia||W 71–57|
|3||March 28||New Orleans||W 64–33|
|4||April 1||at Tampa Bay||W 54–30|
|6||April 16||at Pittsburgh||W 65–40|
|7||April 23||Cleveland||W 56–42|
|8||April 30||Orlando||W 76–55|
|9||May 6||at Philadelphia||W 58–42|
|10||May 13||Iowa||W 79–27|
|11||May 21||at Georgia||W 62–55|
|13||June 3||at New Orleans||W 62–55|
|14||June 11||at Orlando||W 68–67|
|15||June 18||Milwaukee||W 62–47|
|16||June 25||Tampa Bay||W 66–41|
|17||July 2||at San Jose||L 70–83|
|18||July 9||Dallas||L 70–75|
|19||July 15||at Kansas City||L 48–49 (OT)|
|20||July 22||Spokane||W 75–56|
|–||July 29||Orlando||W 63–48|
|–||August 8||Georgia||W 64–55|
ArenaBowl XXIV went down as one of the best ArenaBowls in AFL history with Jacksonville Sharks quarterback Aaron Garcia throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Jeron Harvey on the final play of the game.
The Arizona Rattlers drew first blood in ArenaBowl XXIV with a two-yard run by Odie Armstrong giving the Rattlers a 7-0 lead. The teams traded touchdowns throughout the first quarter, but two missed PATs by Jacksonville gave the Rattlers a 14-12 lead. However, the Sharks got a stop and scored in between the first two quarters and took their first lead to open the second quarter, 19-14.
After both teams scored two touchdowns each in the first quarter, the teams each scored three of their own in the second quarter. However, the Rattlers scored two touchdowns in the final 55 seconds of the half, and Jacksonville kicker Marco Capozzoli missed his third PAT of the game.
The Sharks led 32-21 with less than three minutes before half, but Arizona came back to take a 35-32 lead midway through the game.
In the third quarter, both teams each scored a touchdown, but after Capozzoli's fourth and final missed PAT, the Rattlers led 42-38. The fourth quarter of ArenaBowl XXIV saw nine touchdowns and seven lead changes, with five touchdowns coming in the last 1:30.
The Rattlers led 56-53 before Garcia hit Harvey to give the Sharks a 60-56 lead with 1:26. The Rattlers retook the lead after a five-yard TD pass from QB Nick Davila to WR Chris Jackson at the 52 second mark. Twelve seconds later, Garcia hit Jomo Wilson and the Sharks led 67-63.
It appeared Arizona would score the game-winning touchdowns after Davila hit Kerry Reed with a 12-yard pass with 21 seconds left in the game, until Garcia threw the game winning pass to give Jacksonville its first ArenaBowl title (in its second season in the AFL) with a 10-yard TD pass to Jeron Harvey with no time on the clock.
The Arizona Rattlers are a professional indoor American football team based in Glendale, 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 Gila River Arena while their former primary home, Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix undergoes renovations. 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.
The Philadelphia Soul were a professional arena football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and competed in the Arena Football League (AFL). The Soul made five ArenaBowl appearances, winning their first appearance and losing their next two appearances. The Soul won in their fourth appearance, against the Rattlers in 2016, winning 56–42. They also won in their fifth appearance in 2017 against the Tampa Bay Storm, winning 44–40.
Aaron Garcia is a former professional American football quarterback who played 19 seasons in the Arena Football League (AFL), from 1995 to 2014. He played college football at Washington State University before transferring to California State University, Sacramento. After retiring from the AFL, Garcia was named the head coach of the Las Vegas Outlaws in September 2014, and was formally introduced as the head coach of the Outlaws on October 11, 2014. Garcia is married to Bryn Garcia and has five children, Gigi, Bella, Anthony, Christian, and Jaxon.
Omar T. Jacobs is a former American football quarterback. He played college football at Bowling Green and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Jacobs was also a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Florence Phantoms, San Jose Wolves, Jacksonville Sharks, Wichita Falls Nighthawks and Rio Grande Valley Sol.
Larry Brackins is an American football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at Pearl River Community College. Brackins has also been a member of the New York Jets, New York Sentinels, Philadelphia Soul, Dallas Vigilantes, Orlando Predators and Cleveland Gladiators.
Nick Davila is an arena football quarterback who is currently a free agent. A three-time AFL champion, and three-time MVP, he also played for the Arizona Rattlers from 2010 to 2016. Davila is of Mexican American descent. He is nicknamed the "Latin Laser". In 2017, he was the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach for the Rattlers of the Indoor Football League (IFL), who went on to win the 2017 United Bowl.
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The 2010 Arizona Rattlers season was the 19th season for the franchise in the Arena Football League. The team was coached by Kevin Guy and played their home games at US Airways Center. The Rattlers made the playoffs with a 10–6 record, fourth best in the National Conference, but were defeated by the top-seeded Spokane Shock in the conference semifinals, 49–57.
The 2010 Spokane Shock season was the fifth season for the franchise, and the first in the current incarnation of the Arena Football League, coming from the AF2, which dissolved following the 2009 season. The team is coached by Rob Keefe and played their home games at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
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Kyle Rowley is an arena football quarterback who is currently a free agent. He also played in the former af2. He played college football at Brown.
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Marco Capozzoli is a former American football placekicker who played for the Tulsa Talons and Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena Football League (AFL). He was a placekicker for Montclair State University. He was signed as a free agent by the Jacksonville Sharks in 2010. Capozzoli has been a resident of Bloomfield, New Jersey.
The 2011 Arena Football League season was the 24th season in the history of the league. The regular season began on March 11, 2011 and ended on July 23, 2011. The Jacksonville Sharks, in their second year of existence, defeated the Arizona Rattlers 73–70 in ArenaBowl XXIV on August 12, 2011 to conclude the playoffs.
The 2011 Jacksonville Sharks season was the second season for the franchise in the Arena Football League. The team was coached by Les Moss and played their home games at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. In the regular season, the Sharks went 14–4, qualifying for the playoffs as the top seed in the American Conference. After defeating the Orlando Predators in the conference semifinals, they beat the Georgia Force in the American Conference championship. Advancing to ArenaBowl XXIV, the Sharks triumphed over the Arizona Rattlers on a last-second game-winning touchdown pass to win their first ArenaBowl championship.
The 2011 Arizona Rattlers season was the 20th season for the franchise in the Arena Football League. The team was coached by Kevin Guy and played their home games at US Airways Center. In the regular season, the Rattlers won a league-record 16 games, having lost only two, to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They defeated the Spokane Shock in the conference semifinals before beating the Chicago Rush in the conference championship. In ArenaBowl XXIV however, they fell to the Jacksonville Sharks, giving up a game-winning touchdown with no time left on the clock.
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