Spokane's defense set the tone early in the game by ending Utah's first drive with an interception by Shock DB William Mulder who was making his first start of the season. Mulder's interception set up Spokane's first touchdown of the game that came on a two-yard run by WR Eddie Thompson, who was also making his first start of the season.
Spokane's defense continued to dominate limiting Utah's offense to only 53-yards in the first half. The Shock's offense continued to roll in the first half putting up 35 points.
But Utah continued to stay within striking distance in the first half thanks to KR Brandon Hampton. Hampton collected 110 yards and two touchdowns on kick returns in the first half alone. He ended the night with 169 all-purpose yards.
Hampton couldn't bring the Blaze back on his own as Spokane continued to dominate offensively and defensively in the second half.
Utah's rookie QB Michael Affleck, who was making is his first start in the AFL, was under constant pressure from the Shock's defensive line and completed only four of his 12 pass attempts. AFL-veteran Brett Elliot relieved Affleck but also struggled against Spokane's pressure, fumbling the snap on his first play of the game.
DL Jerry Turner, DL Ben McCombs, DL Richard Clebert and LB Aaron Robbins each collected a sack.
Spokane's offense was led by QB Kyle Rowley who played a nearly flawless game. Rowley completed over 70% of his passes (21/29) for 224 yards with six passing touchdowns and ended the first half with a one yard rush to add six more points to the scoreboard.
Late in the game, QB Erik Meyer came in and picked things up right where Rowley left off. Meyer also completed over 70% of his passes and had 77 yards of passing offense including a touchdown pass to WR Huey Whittaker for the Shock's final touchdown of the night.
The Shock's offense led a balanced attack with each of their starting receivers leading the team in a different category. Whittaker led the team in receptions (12) while WR Raul Vijil led the team in touchdowns (3) and WR Markee White led the team in receiving yards (118).
The Shock returns home to host the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings on April 17th at 7 PM on Spokane Tribe Field. Great seats are still available and can be purchased by contacting TicketsWest.
Kevin Maloney, Director of Communications, Spokane Shock