05/30/2012 12:17 PM
SPOKANE, WA (May, 30th, 2012) – This week, the Spokane Shock (6-4) travel to Chicago, IL to take on the Chicago Rush (6-4) at Allstate Arena with a 1:00pm PST kickoff on Sunday, June 3rd, 2012.
Chicago enters this week 12 match-up coming off two straight road losses to the West Division (Arizona and San Jose) as they prepare to host Spokane this coming weekend, followed by another road game in Utah on June 9th. As a part of their back to back losses, the Rush have failed to record a road win in nearly two months, with their last coming on March 31st against the Iowa Barnstormers. While Chicago has struggled on the road and against the West Division so far this season, Spokane is in for a tough game at Allstate Arena against the Rush who has posted an undefeated record on their home turf.
Chicago’s offense is led by QB Russ Michna who has thrown for 2,660 yards and 53 TDs with only 8 INTs on the season. The Rush’s wide receiver core is anchored by the tandem of Reggie Gray (71 receptions for 1,034 yards and 26 TDs) and Jared Perry (71 receptions for 1,034 yards and 15 TDs). The triple threat of Michna, Gray, and Perry have lead Chicago to be ranked fifth through week 12 of the AFL season; with much needed reason. Chicago is ranked 16th in scoring defense, giving up 59.6 points per game and is ranked last in defensive efficiency having only nine interceptions on the season.
While Chicago has struggled as of late, Spokane has flourished and has won five of their last six games. QB Kyle Rowley and the Shock offense have protected the ball well over their last three games and been aided by special teams and defensive standout Terrance Sanders. Rowley has thrown 11 TDs and only 2 INTs in the last two contests, aided by the receiver combo of Adron Tennell (75 receptions for 877 yards and 19 TDs) and Brandon Thompkins (65 receptions for 771 yards and 22 TDs).
As the Shock offense has begun to hit their mid-season stride well in tune, it is the Shock defense and special teams that has no doubt provided the spark in recent weeks. Terrance Sanders enters this week’s game with 7 INTs on the season and three kick returns for TDs. In his brief absence from the lime lights last week against Iowa, DB Paul Stephens was able to bring in an INT of his own and a kick return for a TD. Spokane has capitalized well off their opponent’s mistake as they lead the league in opponent penalties, forcing 104 in ten games for an average of 65.0 yards per game.
This week’s match-up yet again provides Spokane with an opportunity to make up ground in the playoff race and obtain a common opponent victory that could prove to make or break their playoff hopes later in the season. With Chicago having lost to Arizona and San Jose in the last two weeks, Spokane must continue the West Division trend as the Rush still have to face Utah in Salt Lake City on June 9th and San Jose once more at home on June 30th.
This week’s game in Chicago will be broadcasted online via the Shock’s Ustream page (www.ustream.tv/spokaneshock). Radio coverage for the game will also be available on 700ESPN.