Shock Start Fast, Finish Strong in Win Over PDX - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Shock Start Fast, Finish Strong in Win Over PDX

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Terrance Sanders' pick six changed the momentum of the game and led the Shock to victory over Portland on Saturday. Terrance Sanders' pick six changed the momentum of the game and led the Shock to victory over Portland on Saturday.
The second home game for the Spokane Shock resulted exactly how all 8,652 screaming fans in the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena expected, with a huge 55-27 win over Portland on Saturday, April 12. 

Erik Meyer got the Shock (3-1) on the board first with a 1-yard sneak behind his center Samuel Tupua. Spokane got in scoring position thanks to a 43-yard bomb from Meyer to Andrew Joesph down the left sideline on 4th and long from its own 2 yardline. 

Things got worse quickly for the Thunder (0-4) when they failed to convert on back-to-back quarterback sneaks starting on third and one from the 21 on the ensuing drive. The Shock took over and a few plays later Meyer hit Rashaad Carter over the middle for a 8-yard TD pass to make it 13-0 after after Taylor Rowan's made point-after attempt. 

Spokane scored only three plays from scrimmage later on Terence Moore's 3-yard scoop and score off of the Thunder's botched snap. Still in the first quarter the Shock had a quick 20-0 lead. 

Portland answered to start off the second quarter with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Danny Southwick to Jeffery Solomon to make it a 20-7 game. The Thunder got their first first down right before the end of the first quarter on a Southwick to Duane Brooks 11-yard pass over the middle. 

The next drive was much of the same for the Shock as they chipped their way down the field thanks to short passes from Meyer to Carter, while Portland penalties gave Spokane a clean slate for much of the drive. But with the Shock threatening PDX's Bryce Peila intercepted Meyer's pass to give the Thunder a break and more importantly the ball back. 

Portland began to drive and earned its first redzone opportunity thanks to two Southwick to Justin Monahan first down passes. On first and goal from the four Southwick found Monahan at in the corner for the TD. Shock lead was cut to six, 20-14 with 6:36 left in the first half after Braunstein's PAT. 

Three-straight completions gave the Shock a first and goal from the eight yardline, then things got interesting. Spokane ended up all the way back at its own 24 yardline with a second and goal and 1:00 minute remaining until halftime. The Thunder got back-to-back sacks on Meyer to push it to fourth and goal from the Shock's own 11. A Rowan field goal attempt sailed wide into the stands and Portland took over with the ball and 30.7 seconds left in the half. 

Southwick completed a trio of passes to lead the Thunder down the field and ended up with a one final play from inside the one yardline with 1.8 seconds to play before the teams went into the locker rooms for the half. Portland's pitchout to Brooks was stuffed in the backfield by a host of Spokane defenders and the Shock took the 20-14 lead into the break. 

The Thunder took their one and only lead of the night right out of the second half gates when Southwick hit Brooks for a 38-yard touchdown pass in the back corner of the endzone. After the PAT Portland led 21-20. 

It was a short-lived lead though. The Shock earned a first down through the air and back-to-back PDX personal fouls gave Spokane first and goal on the Thunder nine. Meyer found Joseph over the middle for their second TD connection of the night and the Shock regained the lead, 27-21. 

On PDX's next possession the Spokane defensive front pressured Southwick into an intentional grounding penalty and then a James Ruffin sack on fourth down to give Meyer and co. the ball back at the Shock 17 yardline. 

The Thunder continued to give Spokane free first downs with the yellow laundry hitting the field as often as the players were in the third quarter. The Shock ended up with a fourth and goal from the six to open up the final frame and were bailed out by a defensive illegal formation by the PDX defense. The Thunder defense held fast for another four downs and kept the Shock from scoring on the drive.

Portland's defensive stand was erased a few plays later when Terrance Sanders intercepted Southwick's pass and returned it 24 yards for the score. Rowan's point after gave the Shock a 34-21 lead with 11:43 left in the game. 

"Right before I got that interception I was like, 'Man, its too quiet in here,'" Sanders said after the win. "The offense doesn't have the crowd rocking and then they got stopped and we had to go back out there. It seemed like everybody was waiting on a big play and I was glad that I could be the one to provide it and start that roll for us."

Spokane forced a Thunder four-and-out after the pick six that was capped off with a crushing Southwick sack by Bryson Kelly and gave the offense the ball back on the PDX 10. 

Meyer made the Thunder pay, connecting with Adron Tennell for the 10-yard TD pass on their first offensive play after the turnover on downs to make the score 41-21 all Shock with 8:11 left in the fourth quarter. 

Spokane scored right away with JT Fitzgerald grabbing the ball off of the high bounce off the net and taking the dive into the endzone. Rowan's PAT made it 48-21 with only a few seconds coming off the clock. 

The Shock defense forced another four-and-out and Spokane tacked on another score before the end of the game. Meyer hit Tennell again, this time from six yards out. 

The Thunder added a late TD in garbage time to give the game its 55-27 final after Portland went for 2 and failed. Sanders ultimately sealed it when hauled in his second interception of the night after PDX got the ball back on the onside kick. 

Meyer finished with 166 yards passing, going 20-for-37 and scored 5 total touchdowns, but failed to find a rhythm with his receivers for most of the night.

"You've got to give a lot of credit to Portland, they had a really good defense," Meyer said after the game. "They could pass rush and they're [defensive backs] are really good and they're well coached. That's a tough team right there."

After the game Shock head coach Andy Olson vented his frustrations despite his team earning the win. 

"I'm not extremely happy with the way my team played, especially offensively, we've got to be a lot better than what we are right now," Olson said. "It's very frustrating for me as the offensive coach, yeah we won by 30 points, but we didn't really turn anything on until the fourth quarter. We can't wait that long to start our game."

Sanders had a little bit of a different mindset after beating Portland. 

"It was a hard fought win," Sanders said. "A little tougher than we initially planned. I think some guys came out and thought we were just going to roll over them because we were better and they hadn't won. So it was good to have a little adversity, but I'm glad to see we dominated in a way still."

The Shock will return to action next Saturday, April 19, and will face the Cleveland Gladiators at 7:00 p.m. with the game broadcast live on SWX. 
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