07/12/2008 10:25 AM
Photo by Emily Fisher. The Shock are 6-0 all time against Stockton.
When Shock fans look back at the 2008 season, it is shapening up to be a season to remember. But, with a win this weekend at Stockton, it will be a season that af2 fans will remember in the league record books. Currently sitting at a 7-0 record, the Shock need just one more road win to be one of only four teams in league history that have an undefeated road record during the regular season.
“When you look at the schedule you hope to win five of your eight road games,” Head Coach Adam Shackleford said. “So, to go undefeated with eight wins would be a tremendous feat. But the game this weekend is not going to be easy.”
Although the Shock have already defeated the Lightning in their two previous meetings this season, Stockton has continued to improve and are riding the wave of two consecutive wins in as many weeks. Both of these victories came against playoff bound teams in Tennessee Valley and most recently Central Valley.
The Lightning victory over Central Valley came in the same dramatic fashion that the Shock beat them in their last game. As time expired, K Alex Walls nailed the game winning field goal – just as Shock K Bryan Jackson did against the Coyotes the week before.
The catalyst behind the Lightning’s turn around, offensively, has been QB Andy Collins. During their current two-game winning streak, Collins has accounted for 12 total touchdowns. Since Collins became the starter on May 31st (at Spokane), the Lightning’s offensive production has improved by an average of nearly two touchdowns (13.6) per game.
“He’s a very good quarterback,” Head Coach Adam Shackleford said. “What makes him successful is that he is very good in the red zone and he can stretch the field out with the deep pass. He has a big, strong body and he uses that to buy himself some extra time in the pocket.”
The Shock’s defensive line already has a club record 26 sacks this season – most of those have been credited to second-year veteran Devon Parks who leads the team in that category with 13. In their last meeting with the Lightning, Parks and DL Justin Warren each had a sack.
Offensively, WR Etu Molden will be making his debut in a Shock uniform. Earlier this season, Molden signed with the Lightning but was released after appearing in only one game. Molden recorded four receptions for 73 yards before he suffered a leg injury (quad) in the game.
Molden will be joined by veteran Kelvin Dickens, and rookie Andy Olson. Dickens has already surpassed his rookie season numbers in receptions (57 in 2007 and 64 in 2008), and reception yardage (578 in 2007 and 843 in 2008). Meanwhile rookie receiver Andy Olson has put up some impressive numbers of his own. He is currently second on the team in receptions (88) reception yardage (843) and touchdowns (17). The last Shock rookie receiver to put up these kind of numbers was Charles Frederick who led the team in receptions (85), reception yardage (973) and touchdowns (22).
Frederick and the rest of his 2006 teammates certainly gave Shock fans and af2 fans alike a season to remember – will the 2008 team repeat this feat? Only time will tell, but a win today will bring them one step closer to etching their name in the af2 record book.