SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane Shock (8-7) hosted the number one overall and West Division leading Arizona Rattlers (12-3) Friday night at the Spokane Arena in front of 8,946 fans. A number of early miscues and turnovers by Spokane would open the door early for Arizona as they would jump out to a big lead and hold it on their way to a 61-35 victory over the Shock.
A quiet first quarter ended with Arizona leading 14-7 and each QB only missing two of their attempted passes. Davila completed 5 of 7 attempts for 72 yards and 2 TDs while Kyle Rowley went 7 of 9 for 54 yards and 1 TD.
The Rattlers would not stay quiet for long as they would go on to post a 26 point second quarter against Spokane, capped off by three consecutive interceptions by Shock QB Kyle Rowley. A key moment of the quarter came on an interception by Arizona DB Arkeith Brown as Shock WR Steven Black caught a corner route, seemingly gaining possession of the pass as he went over the wall until Brown reached in and ripped the ball out of his hands before making contact with the ground. Once Brown took possession he returned the INT the full length of the field for a TD as the Shock stood in disbelief, believing the play had ended and the touchdown was scored. A review of the play revealed no conclusive evidence to overturn the ruling on the field and the touchdown was upheld.
Arizona QB Nick Davila would end the first half completing 9 of his 11 attempts for 134 yards and 4 TDs while Spokane QB Kyle Rowley would complete 17 of 28 attempts for 159 yards and 2 TDs with 3 INTs. The first half would close with Arizona leading 40-14.
As the second half would resume, the Shock's miscues would continue. On their opening drive of the third quarter Spokane would be held to a four and out that would then result in an Arizona touchdown. Throughout the quarter, Arizona would manage their possessions and intercept Shock QB Kyle Rowley for a fourth time in the contest. At the end of the quarter with the Rattlers leading 54-21, Arizona possessed the ball for only 17 minutes and 41 seconds compared to Spokane's 42 minutes and 19 seconds; showing the efficiency of the Rattler offense and dominating performance by their defense that hasn't given up more than 48 points in now six of their last seven games.
Despite a late fourth quarter push by Spokane and two consecutive onside kick recoveries, the Rattlers would hold off the Shock and gain another interception to seal Spokane's late run. Arizona QB Nick Davila would complete 18 of 27 attempts for 247 yards and 5 TDs, connecting with four different WRs for scores. Rattler DB Arkeith Brown came up with 3 INTs, one of which he returned for a 56 yard TD while LB Kevin McCullough added two INTs.
Shock QB Kyle Rowley would end the night completing 29 of 45 attempts (64%) for 303 yards and 5 TDs, but five costly INTs would hold the Shock from contention in the night's contest. The only three wide receivers on the active roster tonight did their best to spread the load as Jeffrey Solomon hauled in 11 receptions for 122 yards and 2 TDs. Adron Tennell would also snag 11 receptions for 113 yards and 2 TDs; while Steven Black added 8 receptions for 103 yards and 2 TDs.
At the conclusion of the game, Arizona would defeat Spokane by a final score of 61-35 and improve their record to 12-3. If San Jose loses tomorrow night, Arizona clinches their spot in the 2012 playoffs while Spokane falls to 8-7 and exits the playoff race.
Next week, the Shock travel east to take on the Philadelphia Soul (13-3) in Philadelphia, PA on Sunday, July 8th with a 6:05pm EST kickoff.
Spokane's final home game of the season will take place on Saturday, July 21st against the Tampa Bay Storm.