JACKSONVILLE, FL (April 28, 2012) – In a Week 8 AFL match-up the Spokane Shock (3-3) capitalized on defensive turnovers to create an early lead and were able to hold off the Jacksonville Sharks (2-4) for an important road win and improve their record to .500 on the season as the Shock would defeat the Sharks 56-48.
It was clear soon after Jacksonville deferred the coin toss, that Spokane would seemingly have the sole say as to the outcome of the game. After an opening drive led by Kyle Rowley was capped off with a short 3-yard TD pass to fullback Andrew Nierman (Spencer PAT), Jacksonville’s Omar Jacobs answered with a short screen pass of their own to tight end Vladimir Richar (Capozzoli PAT) to tie the game early at 7-7. Rowley then connected with Adron Tennell for an 11-yard TD pass (Spencer PAT) to put the Shock up 14-7. On Jacksonville’s next series, Freddie Harris would make his appearance known after being re-activated from the Injured Reserve list this week. On a quick pass attempt over the middle, Harris intercepted the Sharks and returned the throw for a TD (Spencer PAT) to put the Shock up 21-7 in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Terrance Sanders would record his first Interception of the Season after a high throw by Jacksonville’s Omar Jacobs deflected off the net. Spokane would drive down the field and cap off the drive with a QB sneak TD (Spencer PAT) by Kyle Rowley to push the lead to 28-7 with 7:02 left in the second quarter. After Jacksonville was able to answer on their next series with a TD pass (Capozzoli PAT) from Omar Jacobs to Terrance Smith and pull within two scores at 28-14, Terrance Sanders would set Spokane up with great field position as he returned the consequent kick out to the 20-yard line. On the next series, Kyle Rowley would connect with Brandon Thompkins for a TD pass (Spencer PAT) with 46 seconds remaining in the first half to push the game to 35-14. Jacksonville would utilize the clock and pushed down the field and score on a TD pass from Omar Jacobs to Terrance Smith (Capozzoli PAT), leaving only 2 seconds left on the clock to end the half with Spokane leading 35-21.
The second half would start with similar Offensive production. After Jacksonville scored on a deep pass from Omar Jacobs to Bobby Sewall (Capozzoli PAT) to bring the game within one score at 35-28, Kyle Rowley would find Adron Tennell for another Shock TD pass (Spencer PAT) push the game to 42-28 with 10:27 remaining in the third quarter. On Jacksonville’s next drive and for the second time in the game, Terrance Sanders would intercept Quarterback Omar Jacob’s pass and return the ball out to the 22-yard line. Two plays later, Kyle Rowley would connect again with receiver Brandon Thompkins for a 13-yard TD pass (Spencer PAT) with 7:56 remaining in the third quarter and push the score to 49-28. In similar fashion, Jacksonville would return fire after the Shock touchdown. Omar Jacobs found Terrance Smith again, scoring on a 14-yard TD. After missing the extra point and bringing the game within two scores at 49-34, Jacksonville then attempted an on-side kick which they would recover on their own 12-yard line and re-take possession and begin their drive as the third quarter came to a close.
Jacksonville would open the fourth Quarter with a TD pass from Omar Jacobs to Jamarko Simmons but would miss their PAT try again, leaving the score at 49-40. Jacksonville would then attempt a second onside kick, but Spokane’s Adron Tennell was able to knock the ball out of bounds and help the Shock retain possession. Even though the Shock would start with the ball on the Jacksonville 10-yard line, the Sharks were able to hold the Shock to a four and out situation, retaking possession of the ball with 10:30 left in the fourth quarter. Ten plays later, Jacksonville would score on a 5-yard TD pass from Omar Jacobs to Jamarko Simmons and convert on a 2-pt try to bring the game within one point at 49-48. Following the score, the Sharks would attempt another onside kick that would be recovered by Spokane on the Jacksonville 15-yard line. The Shock would waste no time in pushing their lead back up to eight points as Kyle Rowley would find Brandon Thompkins for a 10-yard TD pass (Spencer PAT) with 1:48 remaining. Jacksonville would get the ball back with 1:00 on the clock and begin their drive down the field, attempting to tie the game. In nail-biting fashion, the Sharks were able to work their way down the field, utilizing short passes and the sideline to move down to the Spokane 12-yard line. Again an errant pass from Jacksonville QB Omar Jacob’s would fly over the receivers head and ricochet off the end-zone bar, bouncing into the air before being intercepted by Spokane’s Beau Bell to seal the Shock’s Victory.
In a battle of Quarterback play, two very different themes were apparent early as Kyle Rowley would display his veteran tendencies and start the game completing 12 of 14 of his passes. Rowley would finish 20 of 26 for 218 yards and six (6) TDs, adding another on the ground. Jacksonville’s Omar Jacobs would feel pressure early from the Shock as he was sacked twice (2) and intercepted on four (4) different occasions. The young Quarterback would be forced to throw 52 times in the Week 8 match-up against the Shock, completing 37 of his passes for 371 yards and seven (7) TDs.
Adron Tennell would lead the Shock’s receiving core as he collected eight (8) receptions for 117 yards and two (2) TDs. He would be supported by Brandon Thompkins of the Shock who also scored two (2) TDs on four (4) receptions while gaining 48 yards. Andrew Nierman recorded his first (1) TD reception of the Season from the Fullback position. While Jacksonville’s QB Omar Jacobs felt the pressure of the Shock early and often, he was able to distribute the ball very well between his receivers. The Sharks were led by Jamarko Simmons who collected 11 receptions for 112 yards and two (2) TDs. Bobby Sewall would also have 11 receptions for 107 yards and one (1) TD. The Shark’s biggest threat during the game though would be Terrance Smith with 10 receptions for 125 yards and three (3) TDs.
Defensively, Terrance Sanders led the Shock with 11 tackles and was able to grab his first two (2) interceptions of the season. Beau Bell recorded two (2) tackles, one (1) sack, and caught the game winning interception off the bar deflection late in the fourth quarter. Freddie Harris, fresh off the Injured Reserve list, would record his first (1) interception of the season that he returned for a TD to put the Shock up early. Jeremy Geathers, returning this week from Recallable Reassignment as he prepares to head for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League, was a dominating force on the Defensive Line. While he only recorded 0.5 sacks in the contest, his continued pressure on Jacksonville QB Omar Jacobs attributed to multiple turnovers in the defensive secondary.
The Spokane Shock will travel to Salt Lake City, UT next week for a Week 9 Arena Football League match-up against their division rivals, the Utah Blaze. The game was originally scheduled for next Saturday; however, due to the NBA Playoff Schedule it has been moved to Friday, May 4th, 2012. Kickoff times are being determined and will be announced this week.
Spokane’s next home game will be Friday, May 11th, 2012 with an 8:00pm PST Kickoff against the New Orleans Voodoo.