SPOKANE, WA -- The Spokane Shock defeated the Utah Blaze tonight 77-28 in front of 10,481 fans on Spokane Tribe Field.
Spokane set the tone early and scored on the opening kickoff. As Blaze KR Brandon Hampton attempted to gain control of the opening kick, DB Alex Teems exploded into him, sending the ball to the turf where it was recovered by LB Aaron Robbins for the first score of the game.
The Blaze quickly recovered, scoring on their next three possessions, and finished the first quarter with a 16-14 lead. Spokane’s offense took over in the second quarter, scoring on all five of their possessions to account for 35 points. Meanwhile, Spokane’s defense limited Utah’s offense to 23 yards and didn’t allow a single point in the second quarter.
Utah’s starting QB Brett Elliott was removed in the second quarter after suffering a hand injury. Elliott finished the night completing six of his eleven pass attempts for 75 yards and two touchdowns.
Elliott was relieved by QB Michael Affleck, who continued to struggle against Spokane’s strong defense. Affleck finished the night with two touchdowns and one interception.
Earlier this week, Utah acquired NFL veteran OL Edwin Mulitalo who stepped in as the starting center for tonight’s game. Mulitalo and Affleck struggled to get on the same page, fumbling four exchanges with Spokane recovering two of them. These two turnovers accounted for 14 Shock points, including a 31-yard touchdown pass to WR Raul Vijil.
Vijil had his best game of the season, accounting for 160 yards on eight receptions with four touchdowns leading the team in each of those categories. In only his second start of the season, WR Shaun Kauleinamoku accounted for two touchdowns, including the Cutter’s Catch of the game on an 11-yard touchdown shoestring reception. WRs Huey Whittaker and Quorey Payne combined for eight receptions and each scored a touchdown.
Shock QB Kyle Rowley finished the night with five touchdowns and 132 passing yards in only two quarters of play. Rowley was relieved in the second half by rookie QB Erik Meyer who added another 197 yards of passing offense with four touchdowns.