SPOKANE, WA (April 12, 2014) -- The Spokane Shock won their first-ever matchup with the Portland Thunder on Saturday night by a final score of 55-27 in front of 8,652 fans in Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
Scoring was done in streaks throughout the game, with Spokane’s five consecutive touchdowns in the second half being the deciding factor.
Shock quarterback Erik Meyer completed 20 of 37 passes for 166 yards and four touchdowns while adding two yards and one touchdown on the ground. Rookie wide receiver Andrew Joseph hauled in five of Meyer’s completions for 80 yards and one touchdown while Rashaad Carter tacked on seven receptions for 31 yards and one score.
Shock defensive back Terrance Sanders led the defense against the Thunder, racking up a team-leading six tackles while adding two interceptions. His first interception of the night being a pick-six off Portland starting quarterback Danny Southwick that proved to be the turning point in the game.
The first few plays of the game did not go as planned for Spokane, eventually finding themselves facing a fourth down inside their own five yard line. However, a 43-yard strike from Meyer to Joseph would set up the first touchdown of the night for the Shock, a one-yard touchdown run by Meyer on a quarterback sneak. The Shock defense would follow up by stopping two Portland run attempts with one yard to gain and forcing a turnover on downs. Meyer would make the most of the extra opportunity, hitting Rashaad Carter for a touchdown from eight yards out, extending Spokane’s lead to 13-0. On the ensuing drive Portland’s nerves would once again show, with Southwick fumbling a snap on their own three yard line that Spokane linebacker Terence Moore would pick up and escort into the end zone. Spokane entered the second quarter leading Portland by a score of 20-0.
The second quarter was not as kind to the Shock, who would fail to score. Portland would open the quarter with a touchdown from Southwick to Jeffrey Solomon to cut into Spokane’s three-possession lead and make the score 20-7. After driving down inside the Thunder five yard line, Meyer would scramble and throw an interception, ending the Shock scoring threat. Southwick would lead the Portland offense back down the field for another touchdown, shrinking Spokane’s once-large lead to 20-14. On the final drive of the first half the Thunder found themselves with the ball on the Spokane one yard line and 1.8 seconds left on the clock. The Shock would stuff the Thunder run attempt behind the line to go into half with a lead of six.
The Spokane lead would not stand for long, though, with Portland scoring in under four minutes to open the third quarter. Southwick’s 37-yard touchdown pass to Duane Brooks would give Portland the lead 21-20. The answer from Spokane came quick with Meyer finding Andrew Joseph on a short pass and Joseph dragging a Portland defender into the end zone. The score would give the Shock the lead back 27-21, a lead they would not surrender again.
The Shock opened the final quarter with a turnover on downs, but defensive back Terrance Sanders would erase the mistake seconds later with a 24-yard pick-six, giving the Shock a two-possession lead again at 34-21. Spokane would not slow down after that, scoring three consecutive touchdowns to extend their lead all the way to 55-21. A last minute touchdown pass from Portland backup quarterback Darron Thomas to Solomon would produce the final score of 55-27 in favor of Spokane.