06/18/2011 10:36 PM
WR Emery Sammons recorded Spokane's first touchdown of the night on this six yard reception.
June 18, 2011– Spokane, Wash: The Spokane Shock defeated the Chicago Rush Saturday night, 63-60 for its sixth win of the season.
Coming into the game, Chicago’s defense stole all the headlines holding its previous opponents to an average of only 45.7 points per game. But, Saturday night it was Spokane’s defense that proved to be the difference in the game.
Chicago drew first blood on its opening possession, with a 17-yard pass from QB Russ Michna to WR Reggie Gray for a touchdown. Spokane QB Erik Meyer fired back and led Spokane’s offense on a four-play drive that was capped off by Emery Sammons on a six-yard touchdown reception.
In the second quarter, WR Markee White recorded his first touchdown of the game on a 15-yard reception from Meyer that gave the Shock its first lead of the game, 21-20. The teams continued to exchange touchdowns until Spokane’s LB Antwan Marsh recorded his first interception of the season. Four plays later, Marsh, who was awarded the Ironman of the Game, scampered into the endzone on a two-yard rushing touchdown.
Spokane’s defense continued to add to the highlight reel, when the Defensive Player of the Game Jon Williams dropped Michna for a six-yard loss. Williams’ sack forced a fumble that DL Jonathan Williams recovered in the endzone for a touchdown and the final score of the first half. At the break, Spokane had a 42-27 lead.
In the third quarter, Spokane’s defense continued to pad its stats with their second interception of the game, thanks to DB Terrance Sanders. On the ensuing drive, Meyer returned the favor and threw an interception that fell into the hands of DB Perry Kyles. Meyer made a touchdown saving tackle, but was injured on the play. After lying on the field for several minutes, Meyer was helped off the field and did not return. Meyer finished the night with 15/19 (78%) for 202 passing yards and five touchdowns.
Chicago’s offense capitalized on the turnover and scored on an 11-yard completion to former Shock WR Charles Dillon four plays later. Rookie-QB Steven Sheffield came in to relieve Meyer and threw an interception on the next Spokane drive to league-leader DB Vic Hall. The Rush offense capitalized on the interception, with a six play 41-yard drive that was once again capped off by Dillon and cut the lead to ten points, 49-39.
Sheffield quickly regrouped on the next drive and connected with WR Greg Orton for a 43-yard bomb to record his first AFL touchdown pass. After Chicago scored on the next drive, Sheffield showed his arm strength with a 32-yard touchdown completion to WR Shaun Kauleinamoku to put the game out of reach for the Rush.
Sheffield finished his first professional game with 96 passing yards, five rushing yards and two touchdown passes.
Spokane's receiving corps was led by Greg Orton who turned another outstanding performance with ten receptions for 169 yards with three touchdowns. White and Sammons chipped in with a touchdown a piece while Kauleinamoku recorded two touchdown receptions.
Michna, who left the game in the third quarter, finished the contest completing 72% of his passes (13/18) for 161 yards with four touchdowns. Back-up QB Dominic Randolph filled in admirably for Michna with four passing touchdowns and 113 passing yards. Michna and Randolph each threw an interception. Spokane's defense recorded five sacks for the game against the two quarterbacks.
Chicago's receiving corps was led by Reggie Gray who recorded a game-high five touchdown receptions with 125 receiving yards off of nine receptions. Dillon added three touchdowns in his return to Spokane.
Spokane, who is now in a three-way tie for the fourth playoff spot, will hit the road to take on the Vodoo in New Orleans next Saturday night. The Shock’s next home game is on July 9th when they host the Utah Blaze for the Joe Albi Summer Classic. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by contacting TicketsWest.
Click here for a video recap of the game, or return to the home page and scroll to the video player on the bottom.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Chicago Rush........ 14 13 12 21 - 60
Spokane Shock....... 14 28 14 7 - 63
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: SPO WR Greg Orton
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: SPO DL Jon Williams
JLS Ironman of the Game: SPO LB/FB Antwan Marsh
Cutters Catch of the Game: SPO WR Greg Orton 25-yard reception over the boards
Nifty Player maker of the Game: SPO – WR Greg Orton
National Guard MVP: SPO – LB Antwan Marsh