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Rattlers Travel to Quad City for Season-Opener

March 16, 2023 – Indoor Football League (IFL) – Arizona Rattlers News Release

PHOENIX – The Arizona Rattlers are opening their 2023 season on the road against the Quad City Steamwheelers on Friday with a 5:05 local kickoff time.

After finishing the season with the top seed in the Western Conference and a record of 14-4, the Rattlers made it to the Western Conference Championship game but came up just short of another IFL Championship appearance after suffering a 52-51 loss to the Wranglers.

Led by Head Coach Kevin Guy, MVP Quarterback Drew Powell, and nine other returning Rattlers, they hope to finish the job this season.

First Time Meeting

The Quad City Steamwheelers joined the IFL in 2019, and have yet to run into the Arizona Rattlers. That ends on Friday when these two teams will meet on the field for the first time. The Rattlers look to make a statement in the first of many future matchups between these two franchises.

The quarterback duel between 3-time MVP Drew Powell and 2-time IFL Offensive Player of the Year E.J. Hilliard will be one for the books. Last season, Powell led the IFL with 53 touchdown passes while Hilliard led the IFL in total touchdowns per game at 4.86.


Both of these clubs are coming off season-ending losses to the IFL Champion Northern Arizona Wranglers. The Wranglers defeated the Rattlers in a tightly contested Western Conference Championship matchup with a final score of 52-51. In a similar fashion, the Steamwheelers fell to the Wranglers in their first IFL Championship Game appearance with a final score of 47-45.

Returning Rattlers

QB Drew Powell – Most Valuable Player/ All-IFL First Team

Drew Powell is coming off of his second consecutive MVP season, third of his career. Last season he led the IFL in multiple stat categories with 109 completions, 2630 passing yards, 53 passing touchdowns and 3364 total yards. Powell also rushed for 734 yards (5th) with 27 rushing touchdowns (4th).

WR Braxton Haley – All-IFL First Team

Braxton Haley was selected as an All-IFL First Team Wide Receiver last season. Last Season he led the IFL with 1,030 receiving yards and ranked third in the league with 66 receptions and 21 touchdowns.

DB Davontae Merriweather – All-IFL First Team

Davontae Merriweather is back with the Rattlers after earning All-IFL honors in the 2022 season. He earned this honor through his performance on the field, having 91.5 total tackles which was fourth in the IFL. Merriweather also recorded 10 tackles for loss of 19 yards, 1 interception, and 3 pass breakups. During the season, the defensive back won both Special Teams Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week.

DB Dillion Winfrey – All-IFL First team

Dillion Winfrey was selected for the All-IFL first team last season with the Rattlers. Winfrey had a productive season yet again, finishing with the second most interceptions in the league with 11, as well as 17 pass breakups (3rd). Winfrey also recorded 66 tackles throughout the season.

Also returning to the team: WR, Jamal Miles, DL Chris Terrell, OL JJ Colimon, WR Isaiah Huston, OL Brandon Smith, DB Jacobi Taylor

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