SPOKANE, Wash. (July 12, 2014) – The Spokane Shock (9-7) edged out the Arizona Rattlers (14-2) 73-66 in an instant classic of a game on CBS Sports Network on Saturday. The Shock victory in front of 9,362 fans at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena gave their rivals their second straight loss.
A 27-yard touchdown strike from Erik Meyer to Rashaad Carter with 10 seconds left on the clock put the Shock up 73-66. However, it was an interception on the final play of the game by wide receiver Nick Truesdell playing defensive back that sealed the Shock victory.
After finding themselves in a 21-0 hole entering the second quarter the Shock proceeded to outscore the Rattlers 73-45 over the final three quarters.
Meyer finished the night 25-38 for 292 yards and six touchdowns, adding two touchdowns on the ground. Carter and Mike Washington both put up huge numbers in the Shock receiving corps, combining for 16 receptions for 200 yards and five touchdowns.
Again the Shock defense played like giants, coming away with two interceptions of Nick Davila, three fumbles recoveries, and a safety. Terrance Sanders provided the fireworks on special teams, returning a kickoff 57 yards for a touchdown to provide a spark for the Shock comeback.
The Rattlers started off the scoring early and often, putting up 21 points in the first quarter behind three Davila touchdowns to Rod Windsor, Maurice Purify, and Alex Singleton. The trio of scores from Arizona came without an answer from Spokane, putting the Rattlers up big.
Spokane answered quickly in the second quarter, with Meyer punching in his first of two rushing touchdowns from one yard out to put Spokane on the board at 21-7. Davila’s 41-yard answer came on a touchdown pass to Tysson Poots, extending the Rattlers lead to 28-7. Willing the Shock back into the end zone with his legs again on the ensuing drive was Meyer, bringing the score to 28-14. A pair of touchdowns followed by a pair of field goals closed out the first half with Arizona leading 38-23.
The Shock opened the second half with the ball and quickly took advantage of the possession when Meyer found Flowers for a 13-yard touchdown to bring Spokane within one score at 38-30. But the Rattlers answered immediately, with Davila tossing a 12-yard score to Purify to push the lead back out to 45-30. Once more on the ground the Shock answered, courtesy of a 2-yard rushing score by fullback Rory Nixon. Trying to keep the Shock at arm’s length, Arizona responded with yet another Davila to Purify touchdown strike, making the score 52-44. However, the 57-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Sanders on the ensuing kickoff would provide the spark the Shock had been looking for all game. Arizona went into the final quarter leading 52-44.
Fueled by the energy in the arena provided by Sanders’ return, the defense stepped up and created points when defensive end James Ruffin brought down Davila for a safety on fourth down, pulling Spokane within a touchdown. With their extra possession the Shock struck fast, getting into the end zone from 23 yards out on a Meyer to Washington pass to take the lead 53-52, their first lead of the game. The excitement continued on the kickoff that followed when linebacker Terence Moore scooped up a Taylor Rowan bar ball. Meyer and Carter connected again, this time from three yards out, to extend Spokane’s lead to 60-52. Arizona’s red hot offense would not be silenced easily, though; with time ticking down Davila found Windsor for a long 28-yard touchdown. The Shock kept their lead at 60-58 after stuffing a Rattlers two-point attempt following the score. After a Meyer interception the Rattlers drove back into the Shock red zone before Davila fumbled his second snap of the game, which was recovered by Ruffin. On the crucial drive that followed Meyer found a wide open Washington down the right sideline for a 32-yard touchdown with only 42 seconds remaining. But a quick drive would yield the Rattlers the equalizer, with Davila hitting Kerry Reed for a 10-yard touchdown to tie the game at 66-66 with 29 seconds left in the contest. With under half a minute to play the Shock found one more scoring drive in the tank, which was capped off with 10 seconds on the clock when Meyer flung a 27-yard pass to Carter in the end zone, putting Spokane up 73-66. The final play of the game would be the deciding factor, when a hail mary attempt by Davila was snagged by Truesdell.