SPOKANE-- The Spokane Shock took down the Tampa Bay Storm 69-57 in ArenaBowl XXIII in front of 11,017 fans at Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday.
Tampa Bay struck pay dirt first with a three-yard rushing touchdown by Eric Ortiz. Spokane fired right back with a touchdown of their own, thanks to a six-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Rowley to Huey Whittaker.
Spokane’s defense set the tone for the rest of the game. Jeremy Geathers forced a fumble on Tampa Bay's second drive that was recovered by Richard Clebert. He returned it 35 yards to put Spokane’s offense in scoring position again. Two plays later, Rowley found Markee White for a five-yard touchdown.
White continued to go on an offensive tear, leading the team with nine receptions for 99 yards and four touchdowns. Whittaker shared the spotlight by scoring four touchdowns of his own.
Rowley finished the game completing 29-of-34 passes for 237 yards and nine touchdowns. He also scored a rushing touchdown and did not throw an interception. For his efforts, Rowley was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
Tampa Bay quarterback Brett Dietz finished the game completing with 306 yards and four touchdowns. Spokane's Mervin Brookins and Travis Williams each recorded an interception.
This is the third championship in Shock history, but it's their first in the Arena Football League. Spokane won two ArenaCup titles (2006 & 2009) as a member of the arenafootball2.