Shock To Host Arizona On Saturday - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Shock To Host Arizona On Saturday

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Warren Smith and the Spokane Shock will host the defending ArenaBowl Champion Arizona Rattlers on Satruday. Warren Smith and the Spokane Shock will host the defending ArenaBowl Champion Arizona Rattlers on Satruday.

by Shock Media Relations

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Shock (3-5, 0-2) will host the defending ArenaBowl Champion Arizona Rattlers (6-2, 2-1) in a Week 10 matchup on Saturday, May 30, at 7:00 p.m. PT on ESPN2 at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

GAME NIGHT INFORMATION

This Saturday's game is the Shock “Tailgate Pre-Game Kickoff Party” presented by Barton Boys and Hot 96.9 FM radio. Beginning at 5:00 p.m. PT fans will be able to enjoy the all-new tailgating zone in the north parking lot of Spokane Arena. This area will feature a Coors Light beer garden and a free YMCA Kid's Zone while Hot 96.9 FM radio hosts a live remote. The first 2,000 guests at the tailgate area will also receive free ice cream courtesy of Umpqua Bank. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. as the first 5,000 fans to enter Spokane Arena receive Shock fan clappers courtesy of Barton Boys. Post-game party action will be at The Bar at Pizza Pipeline (1403 N Division), this event is 21 and older.

MATCH-UP HISTORY

This will be the 15th meeting between the teams and the second of three total match-ups slated for the 2015 regular season with this week's game being the first of two to take place in Spokane (Week 10 and Week 17). The Rattlers lead the all-time series with an 8-6 advantage.

In their Week 1 match-up this season in Arizona, the Shock fell to the Rattlers by a final score of 60-43. After trading scores through the start of the first quarter, a bar-ball recovery by Arizona paired with a strip-fumble recovery by defensive back Jeremy Kellem early in the second quarter would lead to a two score swing. Shock quarterback Carson Coffman would sustain an injury right before half-time, resulting in back-up quarterback Jarrett Brown taking over in the second half. Brown would complete 8-of-12 pass attempts for 84 yards while adding a rushing score, but a fumble and interception would provide the ArenaBowl champion Rattlers with all the opportunities they needed to seal the win.

The 2014 AFL regular season featured three meetings between the squads. Arizona cruised to home wins against the Shock in Week 2 and Week 10, but failed to win their Week 17 road game in Spokane.

In the Week 2 match-up in Phoenix on March 23, the Rattlers were led by quarterback Nick Davila's 225 passing yards and 8 touchdowns. The two teams traded scores until Arizona took a 26-21 lead with 5:56 remaining in the second quarter and wouldn't look back on their way to a 49-68 win.

The Shock would visit Arizona again in Week 10 without quarterback Erik Meyer who suffered an injury two weeks earlier against the L.A. Kiss. Arizona would set the tone early, scoring on their opening drive of the game in just over one-minute. The Shock would respond on a short touchdown run by Rashaad Carter, but three-straight Arizona touchdowns would break the early tie and send the Rattlers cruising to a 38-70 victory.

The red-hot Rattlers would visit the Shock in Week 17 for their final meeting of the 2014 season. During the absence of Erik Meyer the Shock fell under the .500 mark after a Week 14 loss to the SaberCats. Meyer would return under center in Week 15 and lead the Shock to two wins before hosting Arizona. The game appeared to be all but a blowout in the Rattlers' favor after posting a 21-point lead in the first quarter, but the Shock were able to keep pace over the next two quarters leading up to a Terrance Sanders interception for a touchdown that would spur a 16-point swing late in the third. Arizona would tie the game with 29 seconds remaining, but the Shock would answer with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Meyer to Carter and then intercept the Rattlers on their final drive to clinch the 73-66 Shock win.

GAME PREVIEW

Spokane enters Week 10 of regular season play after coming off a win last weekend against Las Vegas by a final score of 63-56. The Shock began the fourth quarter with a drive capped off by the Week 9 Cutters Catch of the Week on an amazing over the boards grab by receiver Samuel Charles to extend the Spokane lead to 56-21, but Las Vegas would not go out quietly as they would post 35 fourth quarter points. Despite the late surge, the Outlaws were unable to recover onside kick attempts down the stretch that would allow the Shock to run out the clock and seal the victory.

Through the first nine weeks of the season, before last week's victory in Las Vegas, the Shock have had a roller coaster season of ups and downs while battling injuries at the quarterback position in the first half of the 2015 regular season schedule. Rookie Warren Smith has gotten the nod in Spokane's last three contests and shown all signs of continuing that trend as he has completed 71-of-103 pass attempts (68.9 percent) for 861 yards, 17 passing touchdowns and only four interceptions while adding a pair of rushing scores.

In the squads Week 8 blowout at the hands of San Jose, the Shock suffered an even bigger loss then their worst defeat in franchise history when receiver Mike Washington went down with an achilles tendon injury that would land him on the injured reserve list. With a talented group of young receivers in Rashaad Carter, Anthony Amos, Nick Truesdell, and Samuel Charles; the Shock will look to the second half of the season to see who will step up in place of Washignton.

Spokane also recently acquired rookie receiver Jabin Sambrano in a trade with the LA Kiss and will look forward to Braylon Bell joining the active roster. Bell signed with the team during the free agency period in the offseason and is expected to return to the squad this week after being released from the NFL's Washington Redskins.

Arizona has experienced their own tribulations so far this season at the quarterback position as Nick Davila played in the first five games before suffering a toe injury late in the game against the LA Kiss that has since kept him from action. Rookie quarterback BJ Coleman has stepped up for the team and helped the Rattlers to 2-1 record before the team's Week 9 bye. The rookie quarterback completed just over 51 percent of his passes (61-of-119) for 629 yards and 17 touchdowns with six interceptions.

Recent reports out of Arizona point to the potential return of Davila this weekend, only four weeks after sustaining his injury. If Davila is deemed unable to play, Arizona will continue to look to Coleman or back-up quarterback Shane Boyd to take the reps in Spokane. Boyd is a three-year veteran of the AFL who spent the 2014 season with the San Antonio Talons where he completed 54 percent of his passes (168-of-310) for 2,295 yards and 38 touchdowns with 23 interceptions.

So far in 2015, Arizona receiver Rod Windsor leads the team with 57 receptions for 618 yards and 17 touchdowns while Markee White has seen action in all eight games and recorded 53 receptions for 588 yards and 13 receiving scores. Kerry Reed has played in five games this season and hauled in 27 receptions for 291 yards and nine touchdowns, while Chase Deadder has seen action in seven contests and recorded 20 receptions for 193 yards and five scores.

Despite the shuffle on offense for Arizona, the consistent piece of the squad has been the talented defensive secondary led by Jeremy Kellem who has recorded 47 total tackles, six interceptions, and 18 pass break-ups through eight games. Marquis Floyd (28.5 total tackles, one interception) and Arkeith Brown (25.5 total tackles, three interceptions) have also maintained key roles for the Rattler's defensively.

The two teams will enter Week 10 scoring within 3.6 points per game of one another. Arizona has averaged 51.4 points per game (ranked fifth) while Spokane has posted 50.9 points per contest (ranked seventh).

Defensively, Arizona has held their opponents to the third-least points per game (46.0). Despite inconsistencies offensively due in part to Davila's absence, the Rattlers continue to protect the football and are ranked second in the AFL in turnover margin (+10). Spokane continues to have issues in limiting opposing teams offensively as they have given up a league-worst 58.4 points per game while ranking seventh in the league in turnover margin (-4).

With the quarterback shuffle appearing to settle for the Shock, Spokane will need to protect rookie quarterback Warren Smith and give him time to operate against the talented Rattlers secondary. Spokane has given up 14 sacks through the first eight games in 2015 and will face an Arizona defensive front that has recorded 12 sacks on the season, led by linebacker Tyre Glasper with 5.5. The potential return of Davila under center for the Rattlers will put added pressure on the Arizona offensive line to protect their veteran quarterback, though no matter who is taking snaps, the Rattlers have protected their signal callers and only given up eight sacks in eight games. Shock defensive lineman James Ruffin leads the team with 5.5 sacks on the year, but with the recent injury to nose guard Terrance Taylor the squad will look to rookie Dominique Duster to create middle push with veteran Derrick Summers and Micah King in the mix for Spokane on the edge and at mac-linebacker.

Shock Rookie Earns Catch of the Week Honors

by AFL Media Relations 

CHICAGO – San Jose SaberCats quarterback Erik Meyer has been awarded Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week, while Philadelphia Soul fullback/linebacker Joe Goosby has been awarded Riddell Defensive Player of the Week and J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week for Week 9 of the 2015 Arena Football League season. In addition to these awards, the AFL is also awarding the Cutters Catch of the Week and AFL Highlight of the Week. The Cutters Catch of the Week has been awarded to Spokane Shock wide receiver Samuel Charles, while the AFL Highlight of the Week has been awarded to Orlando Predators defensive end Jeremy Geathers.

RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Meyer (6-2, 215, Eastern Washington) enjoyed the best statistical game of his SaberCats career last week, completing 30-of-42 passes for 406 yards and nine touchdowns in San Jose's 70-58 win over the Cleveland Gladiators. The former League MVP has recorded a triple-digit passer rating in each of his last four games played.

RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK / J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE WEEK

Goosby (6-1, 235, Tulane) was a true Ironman in Week 9, excelling in all three phases of the game in Philadelphia's 71-27 victory over the Tampa Bay Storm. The fifth-year pro scored three offensive touchdowns filling in at fullback for the Soul, but also made his presence felt on defense and special teams, forcing two fumbles, securing a six-yard pick-six, and blocking a PAT try and returning it for a score.

CUTTERS CATCH OF THE WEEK

Charles (6-3, 210, Edward Waters College) made his first career touchdown reception a memorable one, going over the walls in the back corner of the end zone for a five-yard score in Spokane's 63-56 victory over the Las Vegas Outlaws in Week 9. Charles finished the game with two catches for 29 yards and one touchdown. He will receive a Cutters hat and shirt in recognition of the catch.

AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Geathers (6-3, 255, UNLV) made a tide-turning defensive play early in the first quarter of Orlando's 69-43 win over the Portland Thunder in Week 9. On the first snap of the Thunder's second offensive drive, Geathers worked his way into the backfield to strip the ball out of the hands of quarterback Darron Thomas. The veteran pass rusher was then able to scoop up the ball and rumble 22 yards for a Predators touchdown.

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week candidates included: Jacksonville's Tommy Grady, Orlando's Brandon Thompkins, Philadelphia's Joe Goosby, and Spokane's Warren Smith.

Riddell Defensive Player of the Week candidates included: Jacksonville's Greg Reid, Las Vegas' Eddie Moten, Orlando's Jeremy Geathers, and San Jose's Ken Fontenette.

J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week candidates included: Jacksonville's Anthony Jones, Orlando's Brandon Thompkins, San Jose's Reggie Gray, and Spokane's Anthony Amos.


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