SPOKANE, WA (April 26, 2014) – Erik Meyer’s eight total touchdowns and 244 yards through the air pushed the Spokane Shock (4-2) past the Tampa Bay Storm (3-4) 53-41 on Saturday evening in the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Brandon Thompkins hauled in nine receptions for 127 yards and three touchdowns for Spokane while Adron Tennell contributed 8 catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Meyer added two touchdowns on the ground to round out an impressive night for the veteran quarterback.
The close game featured nine lead changes, with the Shock taking the final lead change of the game in the fourth quarter. The Shock are now 4-0 on the season and 45-3 all time when leading entering the fourth quarter.
Tampa Bay opened up the game with a short touchdown connection between Randy Hippeard and T.T. Tolliver to put the Storm up 6-0 after a failed extra point attempt. Spokane responded on its first drive, taking the 7-6 lead on a Meyer rushing touchdown on a quarterback sneak. A 26-yard touchdown pass from Hippeard to Joe Hills would finish off the first quarter of play with the Storm leading 13-7.
It took the Shock two short minutes to respond once the second quarter started, with Meyer finding Tennell in the end zone from five yards out; the failed extra point attempt that followed would keep the game tied at 13-13. The following drive for the Storm was a quick one, with Hippeard finding Michael Lindsey for a 46-yard touchdown strike to take the lead back 20-13. Another Meyer rushing touchdown on the ensuing drive would bring the Shock within one at 20-19 and would put Meyer only five touchdowns shy of the Shock career rushing touchdown record. A quarterback sneak for a touchdown by Hippeard and a 6-yard touchdown strike from Meyer to Thompkins would end the first half with the Storm on top 27-26.
Spokane opened the second half with a quick drive that ended with a 15-yard Meyer touchdown pass to Mike Washington, who had missed the previous two games, to put the Shock up 33-27. Dexter Jackson’s 1-yard rushing touchdown on the following drive would again give the lead back to Tampa Bay at 34-33. The Shock closed out the third quarter with another touchdown pass from Meyer to Tennell, this time for 19 yards out to put Spokane up 40-34 heading into the final quarter of play.
The Storm took their final lead of the game with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Hippeard to Amarri Jackson that made the Tampa Bay lead 41-40, their fourth one-point lead of the game. Spokane answered just over a minute later with a 27-yard strike from Meyer to Thompkins. The third connection between Meyer and Thompkins, this time from seven yards out, finished the scoring and put Spokane on top 53-41.
The Shock defense came away with one interception of Hippeard that stopped a Storm scoring threat on the final play of the first half; rookie Bryant Nnabuife came down with the pick in the end zone, his first of the season.
Spokane now travels to take on the expansion franchise LA KISS for the first-ever meeting between the two clubs on Sunday, May 4; the game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and begins at 4:00 p.m. PDT.
The Shock’s next home game comes against the Pittsburgh Power on Friday, May 9 at 7:00 p.m.