NEW ORLEANS — Doug Plank watched just about every Arizona Rattlers home game from the stands last year, while Kevin Guy watched in agony as his Rattlers lost the 2011 Arena Football League championship on the final play.
The two coaches will be on opposite benches tonight in New Orleans, as Plank guides the Philadelphia Soul against Guy's Rattlers in the AFL's 25th ArenaBowl.
Plank, a former Rattlers assistant coach and broadcaster, calls Arizona home in the offseason. He returned to the league with Philadelphia this season after serving as coach of the Georgia Force from 2005-08.
While Plank had been out of the league for three seasons, Guy is in his second straight title game with the Rattlers. But he will be looking for a different result this time. Arizona lost 73-70 to Jacksonville last season when the Sharks scored as time expired.
"I felt like we had everybody on the same page," Guy said of the final play, a 10-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Garcia to Jeron Harvey. "We just didn't finish. Something we've talked about all season long (this year) is finishing."
The Rattlers finished the regular season 13-5 and entered the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the National Conference. They won their playoff games against San Jose and Utah by a combined nine points.
"Our guys fought all year," Guy said. "We practice outside in the heat. I think it makes us physically and mentally tougher. As the season went on, we developed some chemistry and started playing some pretty good football."
Philadelphia went a league-best 15-3 in the regular season. The Soul averaged 77.5 points in playoff wins over New Orleans and Jacksonville and have not lost since May 18 at Spokane.
"I haven't worked a day this year," Plank said. "Every day was fun."
Arizona quarterback Nick Davila, who threw eight touchdown passes in last year's ArenaBowl, passed for 5,500 yards and 113 touchdowns this season. Philadelphia's Dan Raudabaugh had 4,790 yards passing and 115 TD passes.
Arena Bowl XXV
Philadelphia Soul (15-3) vs. Arizona Rattlers (13-5)
New Orleans Arena
TV: NFL Network, 10:30 p.m.