03/31/2006 2:52 AM
- SPOKANE, Wa- (March 30, 2006) The Spokane Shock made history in more ways than one at their inaugural game on March 30th. Winning their season opener by a score of 41-40 set the standard for arenafootball2 in the Spokane area. The win also knotted Shock Head Coach Chris Siegfried dead even with Lightning Head Coach Richard Davis for the winningest record in the af2.
The Shock started off their season a little rocky after an early first quarter scoring drive by the Lightning. They made a quick recovery as Antwone Savage, Siegfrieds leading receiver from the South Georgia Wildcats, made Shock history by catching the first touchdown pass in Spokanes inaugural game.
Stockton took the lead early in the second quarter after a penalty by the Shock landed the Lightning at the 4-yard line. Former Eastern Washington University Quarterback Josh Blakenship completed a touchdown pass to George Williams to complete the drive for a Lightning touchdown. The Lightning lead didnt last long, however, as Neist fired a 45 yard pass to Savage deep in the endzone for his second touchdown of the evening. The Lightning regained possession only to have the Shock end their drive with an interception by Rob Keefe, who returned the ball 19 yards for a touchdown to put the Shock back ahead 20-13. Stockton came right back with a long touchdown throw by Blakenship to Kenyatte Morgan. The Shock then responded with a 20 yard pass by Neist to Anthony Griffin. On the ensuing kickoff, Siegfried surprised the vistors with an onside kick which was recovered by Rob Keefe at the Shock 15-yard line. The Shock sqaundered a golden opportunity to take a two-touchdown lead when Stocktons James Newson stepped in front of a short pass by Neist and returned it 30 yards for a game-tying score with 6 seconds left in the first half.
The Shock took the lead again early in the third quarter on an end around to Griffin who walked into the endzone untouched. Spokane's defense stood its ground, holding Stockton scoreless throughout the third period. The fourth quarter began with a Stockton touchdown, tying up the game once again. After Charles Frederick returned the ensuing kick to the 16, Savage turned a short pass from Neist into a 27 yard catch and run to the one yard line, dragging defenders along the way. Fullback Levi Madarieta punched it in on the next play, finishing the scoring for the Shock.
As they had all night, Stockton resonded with a 56-yard touchdown with 5:00 remaining. Shock lineman Chuck Jones preserved the narrow lead when he burst through the line and smothered the extra point.
Stockton's final drive came up just short when the Shock swarmed Blankenship on a quarterback keeper on fourth and one with just one mintue remaining.
The atmosphere was unbelievable and I think its only going to get better. Most teams dont get to play in front of crowds like this, said Siegfried of the crowd of 9,387 people who came out to watch the Shock win. "It was so loud in here on that last play. It definitely made it hard for them to get a good a play off."
The Shock play at the Spokane Arena again on April 15th when they face their in-state rival, the Everett Hawks. Tickets are available for all games by calling 325.SEAT. Season tickets can still be purchased for the remaining seven home games by calling the Shock at 242.SHOCK.
Check out the Photo Gallery from Game #1
Game #1 Photo Gallery