Posted on August 1, 2013 at 11:47 PM
SPOKANE – The Spokane Shock (15-4, 4-2) hosted the Chicago Rush (10-9, 2-2) in first round playoff action of the Arena Football League, coming away with the 69-47 win in front of 6,916 fans at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
First quarter action opened with each team putting together touchdown drives. After Spokane scored in two plays on a 23-yard pass from Erik Meyer to Kamar Jorden, Chicago would respond with their own touchdown drive and reach the end zone on a short pass from quarterback Luke Drone to Jared Jenkins but a missed point after attempt would leave the Rush trailing 7-6. The Shock would be stopped on their next offensive possession thanks to a sack and forced fumble, setting up another touchdown pass between Drone and Jenkins to give Chicago the 13-7 lead at the end of the opening quarter of play.
Spokane would continue their possession into the second quarter as Erik Meyer would find Adron Tennell for the 13-yard touchdown to retake the lead at 14-13. The two offense would go on to trade possessions over the next two series as Terrance Sanders would intercept a fourth down pass by Rush quarterback Luke Drone before the Shock offense would fail to convert on their own fourth down play, setting up a 16-yard touchdown pass between Drone and Reggie Gray. Trailing by a score, Shock quarterback Erik Meyer and Adron Tennell would connect for the second time on the night, tying the game up at 20-20 with 3:58 remaining in the half. The Spokane defense would come up with another key stop in the first half thanks for back to back quarterback hurries by Beau Bell and Jeremy Geathers. After a failed fourth down conversion, Spokane would retake possession and score the final touchdown of the half on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Erik Meyer to give the Shock the 27-20 lead.
The third quarter would show continued back and forth scoring by each team. Reggie Gray would find the end zone on Chicago’s opening drive of the half thanks to a 21-yard touchdown pass from Luke Drone. After the Shock were able to reach the end zone on another connection from Erik Meyer to Adron Tennell, the Rush would respond as Jared Jenkins would score his third touchdown of the night on a 3-yard end zone fade from Drone. Chicago would go on to attempt an onside kick but failed to come up with the recovery, setting up Spokane with a short field resulting in a touchdown pass from Meyer to Kamar Jorden. Once more Chicago receiver Jared Jenkins would reach the end zone before quarter’s end, tying the game at 41-41.
The first three quarters of the game would show a hungry Chicago team fighting to keep the game within one score, but the Shock’s defense would create the turnovers needed to propel Spokane to a victory. After Erik Meyer and Adron Tennell would connect for the opening touchdown of the quarter, Chicago would respond with a 2-yard touchdown run by fullback JJ Payne. Spokane’s offense would go on to score once more on the night, coming on a 3-yard quarterback sneak by Erik Meyer to give the Shock a 55-47 lead with 7:06 remaining. Following the go ahead score, the Shock defense would take over. On Chicago’s next three possession, quarterback Luke Drone would be intercepted by Spokane. Beau Bell applied pressure to Drone, causing the Chicago quarterback to force a hitch route the would be intercepted and returned for a score by Shock defensive back Ruschard Dodd-Masters to put Spokane up two scores. Attempting to rally the Rush would be intercepted twice more on the night, once more by Dodd-Masters and another by the hands of linebacker Terence Moore to seal the Shock win at 69-47.
Shock quarterback Erik Meyer completed 23 of 31 attempts for 235 yards and 5 touchdowns while adding 4 carries on the ground for 7 yards and two scores. Adron Tennell would lead the Shock receiving effort, hauling in 11 receptions for 123 yards and 3 touchdowns on the night. Kamar Jorden would also add two receiving touchdowns. Defensive back Ruschard Dodd-Masters would come away with two interceptions for touchdowns late in the fourth quarter while linebacker Terence Moore would add his fourth interception of the season.
Rush quarterback Luke Drone completed 23 of 38 attempts for 250 yards and 6 touchdowns with 4 interceptions. Reggie Gray would lead Chicago receivers with 7 receptions for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns while Jared Jenkins would record 10 receptions on the night for 70 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Next week the Shock will play for the National Conference Championship with the host city dependent on Sunday night’s match up between #1 Arizona and #3 San Jose. If the Sabercats can come up with the upset against the Rattlers, Spokane would host the #3 San Jose Sabercats at Spokane Arena on Saturday, August 10th at 7:00 PM PST. If Arizona can defeat San Jose, Spokane will travel to Phoenix, AZ with the tentative date scheduled for Saturday, August 10th.