The Duke City Gladiators, playing their home games in the City of Vision for the second season in a row, lost their 2022 opener, 50-28, to the Arizona Rattlers in Phoenix Saturday night.

The Rattlers’ defense didn’t allow Duke City to score a single point in the second half after an electric first half, while 2021 IFL MVP Drew Powell threw three touchdown passes. Arizona improved to 59-7 at home since 2014 and 4-0 against Duke City, which it swept in three meetings in 2021, in franchise history.

The Rattlers led 29-28 at halftime, with QB Nate Davis tossing two TD passes for Duke City.

Rattlers running back Malik Williams scored two first-half touchdowns and was quite a force in his Arizona debut: The University of Louisville product ran for 28 yards and two TDs while catching one touchdown pass. He left the game with 10:14 left in the fourth quarter due to an injury.

The Gladiators are home Saturday (March 26) to meet the Frisco Fighters in the Rio Rancho Events Center, where kickoff is at 7:05 p.m.

The Gladiators get the opportunity to avenge their opening-night loss to Arizona when the Rattlers visit the Events Center April 2, the second of four straight home games for the Gladiators.