LIVE ON SWX: Shock Host Orlando - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

LIVE ON SWX: Shock Host Orlando On Saturday

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The Spokane Shock seek their first win when Orlando visits the Spokane Arena this weekend. The Spokane Shock seek their first win when Orlando visits the Spokane Arena this weekend.

by Shock Media Relations

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Shock (0-3, 0-1) will host the Orlando Predators (3-1, 1-0) for Week 5 Arena Football League action this Saturday, April 25 at Spokane Veteran's Memorial Arena at 7 p.m. PT. This week's game will be available for viewing on SWX-TV, on radio via the Shock-VPI Radio Network on AM 700 ESPN Spokane, and via the WatchESPN app or WatchESPN.com.

MATCHUP HISTORY

This weekend's matchup will be the fourth all-time between the franchises (Spokane leads 2-1) with the latest having taken place during the 2013 season in Spokane resulting in an 82-83 victory for the Predators. The Shock jumped out to an early lead in the game, posting 62 first-half points to Orlando's 41. Predator quarterback Aaron Garcia, now head coach of the Las Vegas Outlaws, would then lead Orlando to a 42-point second half and clinch the game with five seconds remaining on a five-yard pass to T.T. Toliver.

The Shock and Predators met twice during Rob Keefe's tenure as the head coach for Spokane in 2010-2011.

On April 23, 2011 in Orlando, Spokane would come away with a 70-58 win. During that win, now Spokane Head Coach Andy Olson served as the offensive coordinator with Keefe's staff.

The first-ever meeting between the two franchises took place during the Shock's inaugural season as a member of the Arena Football League in 2010. The Shock would secure a 53-52 win in Orlando on June 12 and would then go on to only lose one game during the remainder of the season, their final regular season game, before going on to win ArenaBowl XXIII over the Tampa Bay Storm.

PREDATOR SEASON REVIEW

The start of the 2015 season puts the two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum. Orlando will enter Week 5 of the regular season with an overall record of 3-1 and 1-0 within the South Division. After falling to Philadelphia in Week 1 on the final play of scrimmage due to a pass short of the end zone by as time expired, the Soul were able to secure the 63-70 win.

The Predators have since bounced backed from their heartbreaking season opener, securing three straight victories. In their Week 2 matchup against South Division rival Jacksonville, the Predators maintained a small lead for a majority of the contest. The Sharks would set up a potential game tying drive in the final two minutes, but a blocked point after attempt would allow Orlando to hold on to a one-point lead and close out the win by a final score of 55-54.

During that Week 2 win, the Predators were aided by Bernard Morris's Week 2 MVP performance. Morris played quarterback, receiver, jack-linebacker, defensive back, and on special teams as he scored four of the Predators' AFL record seven rushing touchdowns. He also added 5.5 tackles.

Orlando's Week 3 win over the New Orleans VooDoo, the newest members of the East Division, was spurred by back-to-back special teams' touchdowns by former Shock wide receiver Brandon Thompkins in the second quarter. After a VooDoo touchdown, Thompkins took the ensuing kickoff back for 51-yards for the score. On New Orleans' next possession, Thompkins would return a missed field goal off the net for another touchdown. The VooDoo would be unable to close the gap and would fall to the Predators by a final score of 47-42.

Last week while the Shock were on their first bye week of the season, Orlando hosted the Los Angeles KISS. The play of Predator quarterback Randy Hippeard was almost perfect on the night as he completed 26 of 29 pass attempts for 339 yards and six touchdowns (zero interceptions, zero sacks). Orlando would close out the first-half with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Thompkins and follow up with 15-yard touchdown to Carr to open up a two score lead at the start of the third quarter. They would go on to trade scores with the KISS during the second-half, but were able to maintain their lead and win by a final score of 61-48.

SHOCK SEASON REVIEW

For only the second time in franchise history (first time was 2011), the Shock have opened up the season with a 0-3 overall record and find themselves at the bottom of the Pacific Division.

During the 2011 season under then Head Coach Rob Keefe, the Shock opened up 0-3 before making changes to the coaching staff and bringing in Andy Olson to take over offensive play-calling duties. Olson would control the Shock offense beginning in their Week 4 game against Kansas City and lead Spokane to a 61-34 win. Despite an injury plagued season in which the team used six different players at quarterback, Spokane still posted 70 points or more in six contests, including a season-high of 76 in a victory over the Utah Blaze in the Joe Albi Summer Outdoor Classic. The Shock would finish the regular season 9-6 (9-9 overall) and earn a playoff berth, losing to the Arizona Rattlers in the divisional round.

Reminiscent of 2011, Spokane has again been bit by the injury bug in 2015. Through the first three weeks of the season, the Shock have been forced to play five different quarterbacks.

Starting off 2015 against the defending ArenaBowl Champion Arizona Rattlers was no small task to take on for any team. Shock quarterback Carson Coffman would keep the game within ten points despite the Rattlers scoring on a bar-ball recovery, but on the final series of the first-half Coffman would be taken to the ground and suffer a knee injury that would keep him from finishing the game and the next two contests. He would be relieved in the second half by backup quarterback Jarrett Brown as Arizona would go onto win the Week 1 meeting by a final score of 43-60.

In Week 2 against the Philadelphia Soul, the Shock would split the game between quarterback Jarrett Brown and Matt Bassuener. The two would combine for 10 of 25 pass attempts for 138 yards, three passing touchdowns, and two interceptions. After Philadelphia jumped out to a 14-0 lead to begin the contest, the unstable play at quarterback by Spokane would provide the Soul with an easy 43-54 victory.

Prior to the Week 4 bye, the Shock visited Portland for their first Pacific Division matchup of 2015. Spokane acquired veteran quarterback Danny Southwick the week of the game and despite only practicing two-days with the team, started out red-hot as he completed his first 8 pass attempts for 156 yards and four touchdowns. After a strong first-half, Spokane would open the third quarter with two costly errors. Thunder jack-linebacker Bryce Peila would first score on a 46-yard interception for a touchdown on a tipped pass and then follow it up on the Shock's next series with a 3-yard fumble return for a score. The 14-point swing would propel Portland to a 47-43 win after Shock quarterback Danny Southwick would be intercepted on Spokane's final drive of the game.

GAME PREVIEW

The Week 5 matchup between Spokane and Orlando will feature a number of familiar faces. The return of Orlando Head Coach Rob Keefe to Spokane Arena will also bring former Shock players in wide receiver Brandon Thompkins, defensive back Paul Stephens, jack-linebacker Terence Moore, and offensive lineman Ryan Cave.

Thompkins began his AFL career with the Shock in 2011 and would spend time with the team from 2012-2014 on his way to recording 206 total receptions for 2,613 yards and 57 touchdowns. Stephens and Moore also began their careers in Spokane, both playing the 2012-2014 seasons as a fixtures in the Shock defensive secondary.

So far in 2015 with the Predators, Thompkins has recorded a team-high 21 receptions for 260 yards and three touchdowns in three games. He is complimented by second-year receiver Gregg Carr who has hauled in 20 receptions for 278 yards and four scores, as well as receiver Kendal Thompkins with 20 receptions for 225 yards and five touchdowns.

Orlando currently leads the league in pass efficiency with a rating of 134.5 thanks to outstanding play from quarterback Randy Hippeard. Through the first four weeks of the 2015 season, Hippeard leads the AFL with a 136.1 rating as he has completed 82 of 113 pass attempts (72.6 percent) for 1,022 yards, 19 touchdowns, and only one interception.

The Shock will enter Week 5 last in the AFL in pass efficiency with a rating of 83.3 between the five quarterbacks to attempt a pass this season. Danny Southwick will return from the bye week, while Spokane could also see both Carson Coffman and Warren Smith healed from their previous injuries soon and ready for action.

In his Week 1 start, Coffman recorded a 112.4 efficiency rating as he completed 11 of 21 pass attempts for 156 yards and three touchdowns. During Week 3 in Portland, Southwick completed 21 of 32 pass attempts for 291 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions for a rating of 95.18.

Despite Orlando's success on offense, the Predators have struggled to limit opposing quarterbacks as they have given up the 11th-ranked pass defensive efficiency rating of 121.9. The Shock are ranked second, holding their opponents to an average rating of 88.7.

The Predators secondary has failed to record an interception while allowing an average of six passing touchdowns per game. They've also had an issue handling speed at receiver. Twice they have allowed three touchdown performances by two receivers in a game (Week 1 vs. PHL, Week 3 vs. NOLA). The Week 2 win against Jacksonville included a Tiger Jones performance of ten receptions for 133 yards and five touchdowns.

Mike Washington leads the Shock through three games with 21 receptions for 346 yards and five touchdowns despite the revolving door of quarterbacks. He is ranked fifth in the AFL with an average of 115.5 receiving yards per game and third for yards per catch (16.5).

If experience can play a factor for the Shock in Week 5, it will come on the back of facing off against the last two undefeated teams of 2015 in the first three weeks of the season (Arizona and Philadelphia).

Spokane will look to a refreshed roster and strong defensive performance to aid in their search for their first win of the regular season this Saturday.

GAME INFORMATION

This week's Shock home game will be “Kid's Night” presented by Northwest Orthopedic Specialists (NWOS) and Hot 96.9 FM radio on Saturday, April 25 at Spokane Veteran's Memorial Arena with a 7:00 p.m. PT kickoff.

Fans will receive thunderstix courtesy of NWOS. Kids receive $3 OFF tickets purchased via TicketsWest.

Umpqua bank will be hosting a Shox the Fox Photo Booth on the main concourse and will be handing out free Shock Kid's Autograph Books.

Visit the Allsport booth on the main concourse and enter to win for a chance to take home an off-road vehicle.

The post-game party will be held at The Black Diamond in Spokane Valley (9614 E Sprague Ave).

Tickets are on sale at all TicketsWest box office locations, the Spokane Arena box office, online at www.ticketswest.com, and by phone at 800-325-SEAT.

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