May 16, 2009: For the seventh consecutive week, the Spokane Shock secured a win Saturday night as they defeated the Florida Firecats, 49-38.
Although Spokane's win/loss record remains perfect, tonight's game certainly was not for the Shock with four turnovers (three fumbles and one interception), their highest total of the season.
"Four turnovers - that just makes me sick, to be honest with you," Head Coach Adam Shackleford said. "It was one of those games where we were able to fight through it and we never lost our composure despite our mistakes. "
The Firecats, who had three turnovers, made their first mistake on the opening kick-off. Florida's James Panui returned Brian Jackson's kick 9 yards and then fumbled the ball that was recovered by DB Jimmie Sutton, who made his first start of the season, on the 10-yard line.
QB Nick Davila and the Shock offense took to the field and scored three plays later, thanks to an 8-yard rushing touchdown by WR Andy Olson. Olson led the receiving corps with 14 receptions (the Shock's highest total of the season for a receiver) for 151 yards.
"They really played a lot of soft man coverage and that gave us an opportunity to give Andy the ball," Shackleford explained.
WR Raul Vijil was second on the team in receptions (8) - including a touchdown catch - for 62 yards, while rookie WR Charles Dillon led the team in touchdown receptions (2) for 68 yards.
"You can't keep an eye on all three of them in this game," Shackleford said. "At some point, one of them will be open."
Davila has been benefiting all-season from this talented receiving corps and tonight was no different as he completed 73 percent of his passes - including four touchdowns - for 281 yards with only one interception.
The Firecats', however, gave the Shock a run for their money in the 4 th quarter. QB Chris Wallace, the af2's all-time leader in passing touchdowns, pulled the Firecats to within three points (35-32) with only eight-minutes left in the game, thanks to a 29-yard touchdown pass to WR Magic Benton.
Wallace and Benton continued to mount a Florida come back but once again Spokane's defense came through when they were needed. With the Firecats down 42-32 and less than six minutes to go in the game, Spokane's Lee Foliaki tipped a Wallace pass that landed in Kevin McCullough's hands, for his third interception of the season, and put a stop to Florida's plans for a come from behind win.
"Lee made a good play on the ball and Kevin always seems to be in the right spot," Shackleford said. "Our defense really helped us out."
The Shock will begin the long flight home to Spokane early Sunday morning but that's just fine with Shackleford. "I'll take a flight over home a long bus trip anytime -especially after a win," he said.
The Shock host the Central Valley Coyotes this Saturday May 23 rd on Spokane Tribe Field at the Spokane Arena.
Kevin Maloney - Director of Communications Spokane Shock http://www.spokaneshock.com/