Shock To Look For Redemption In San Jose - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Shock To Look For Redemption In San Jose

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Warren Smith and the Spokane Shock will look for a little payback vs. San Jose this weekend. Warren Smith and the Spokane Shock will look for a little payback vs. San Jose this weekend.

by Shock Media Relations

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Shock (3-6, 0-2) will go on the road in Week 11 to visit the San Jose Sabercats (10-0, 3-0) in Week 11 of the 2015 AFL regular season this Friday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m. PT at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.

This week's game will be available for viewing at WatchESPN.com, on the WatchESPN app, and for your listening pleasure on the Shock-VPI Radio Network on AM 700 ESPN Spokane (radio coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. PT).

MATCHUP HISTORY

The Sabercats lead the all-time series at 6-5 which includes ten regular season match-ups over the past five AFL seasons and one playoff game in 2014.

In the two teams' first match-up of the 2015 season, the Sabercats cruised to an 83-28 victory in Spokane, handing the Shock their worst loss in franchise history. With San Jose quarterback Erik Meyer out of the game due to an injury, Nathan Stanley controlled the Sabercats offense and threw for eight total touchdown passes to four different receivers on the night. Adron Tennell and Darius Reynolds each hauled in three receiving scores while the Sabercats defense held the Shock offense to 0-of-4 on fourth down conversion attempts and intercepted Spokane quarterback Warren Smith three times on the night.

Last season, the Shock and Sabercats would meet three times during regular season play and once more in the first round of the playoffs. The Shock would get the best of the Sabercats in Week 4 as the Spokane defense intercepted Sabercats quarterback Russ Michna three times, sacked him six times, and recovered a fumble on their way to a 73-62 road victory. Despite dropping three in-a-row early in the season and falling to 2-3, San Jose would catch their stride and go on to finish out the season by winning their next 11-of-13 with two of those wins coming against the Shock. On May 23 in Spokane, the Sabercats would come away with a 34-52 win. In their final regular season meeting on June 14 in San Jose, the Sabercats would again narrowly outplay the Shock in a 37-47 victory. Meeting in the first round of the playoffs the Sabercats would not only beat the Shock handily, but would hold the Spokane franchise to the least amount of points scored on the road (first time was June 7, 2014 in Jacksonville). The Sabercats won by a final of 55-28, but would then fall in the Conference Championship game to the ArenaBowl Champion Arizona Rattlers.

GAME PREVIEW

Spokane enters Week 11 of regular season play after coming off their second loss to the Arizona Rattlers in 2015. Despite facing a 34-20 deficit at the half in favor of Arizona, Spokane was able to hold the Rattlers scoreless in the third quarter while posting two scores of their own to tie the game at the end of the quarter. The two squads traded scores in the final quarter of play, but a failed onside kick attempt with just under one-minute to go paired with a late interception by Rattlers defensive back Jeremy Kellem would create two final touchdowns and allow Arizona to seal the 47-59 win.

Through the first-half of the 2015 regular season, the Shock have battled significant injuries to key players and inconsistent play in the fourth quarter that has seen a number of potential wins slip away from their grasp. During Spokane's last three match-ups (Arizona, Las Vegas, San Jose), the Shock have been outscored in the final quarter of play by a total of 27-81.

The quarterback position was bit by the injury bug to begin the season which forced the Shock to play five different signal callers through the first seven weeks. In the last three games dating back to the Week 8 blowout at the hands of San Jose, the Shock have seen receiver Mike Washington and defensive back Sam Pope both go down with Achilles tendon injuries while receiver Rashaad Carter (thumb) and defensive lineman Bryson Kelly (groin) have also been placed on injured reserve in the past two weeks.

Shock rookie quarterback Warren Smith continues his starting role that he took over in Week 7 against Los Angeles. In the last four games, Smith has completed 102-of-150 pass attempts (68 percent) for 1,180 yards, 23 touchdowns, six interceptions, and three rushing scores.

The departure of Spokane's top two producing receivers in the first-half of the season in Washington and Carter have provided opportunities for Anthony Amos, Nick Truesdell, and Samuel Charles to step into the limelight. Last week against Arizona, Charles earned J. Lewis Small Playermaker of the Game honors as he hauled in a career-high 14 receptions for 144 yards and two scores. Truesdell added six receptions for 78 yards and four touchdowns while Amos hauled in ten receptions for 92 yards.

Last week, the Shock also added receiver Braylon Bell and rookie receiver Jabin Sambrano to the active roster. Bell rejoined Spokane after starting the season on the other league exempt list while he spent time with the NFL's Washington Redskins. Sambrano was acquired by the Shock in a trade with the KISS for quarterback Danny Southwick and played in his first game last week for Spokane on special teams.

For the second time in four weeks, the Shock will face the first-place Sabercats who have dominated the first-half of the 2015 regular season and recorded ten straight wins.

Erik Meyer, who was absent in the first meeting between Spokane and San Jose in Week 8 due to injury, has since returned to action for the Sabercats and led them to wins against Cleveland (Week 9, 70-58) and Portland (Week 10, 61-42). In those last two games, Meyer has completed 61-of-82 pass attempts (74 percent) for 670 yards, 16 touchdowns, and only one interception.

Reggie Gray leads the San Jose receiving effort through ten games as he has hauled in 82 receptions for 904 yards and 24 touchdowns. Adron Tennell and Darius Reynolds have each played in nine games for the Sabercats this season. Tennell has recorded 41 receptions for 520 yards and 17 touchdowns, while Reynolds has hauled in 24 receptions for 344 yards and eight scores.

The Sabercats offense is ranked first in the AFL at the mid-way point of 2015 as they have posted an average of 61.2 points per game. The Shock are currently ranked sixth, registering 50.4 points per game.

On the defensive side of the ball, San Jose has conquered all in their path holding their opponents to a league-low 37.9 points per game. Spokane, on the other hand, has had issues defensively and are currently ranked last in the league as they have allowed 58.8 points per game to their opposition.

The San Jose defense leads the league in sacks through ten games as they have recorded 26 as a team. Linebacker Francis Maka is tied for second in the AFL in sacks (6.0), while Jason Stewart is ranked fifth (5.5), and Luis Vasquez is ranked seventh (5.0).

Sabercats defensive back Ken Fontenette has caused headaches for quarterbacks all season as a part of a talented San Jose defensive secondary. Fontenette leads the AFL with nine interceptions through ten games and intercepted Shock quarterback Warren Smith three-times during their match-up in Week 8.

In order for the Shock to create an opportunity to upset the Sabercats in San Jose, Spokane will need to focus on efficiency on offense and limiting turnovers while protecting their rookie quarterback against the league's best pass-rush.

Special teams will also be a huge factor in limiting San Jose's ability to score quickly, while setting up the Shock offense in short field situations so they are able to match the high-scoring offense of the Sabercats led by quarterback Erik Meyer.

NEXT HOME GAME

The Shock will return to Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Week 12 to host the Las Vegas Outlaws on Friday, June 12 with a 7:00 p.m. PT kickoff. The Week 12 home game will be a “School's out for summer” celebration presented by KFC Restaurants and Rock 95.5 FM radio. The all-new Tailgate Zone will begin at 5:00 p.m. in the north arena parking lot featuring a Coors Light beer garden and free YMCA Kid's Zone. Game coverage will a national TV broadcast on CBS Sports Network and also available on the Shock-VPI Radio Network on AM 700 ESPN Spokane. Post-game party action will take place at The Bar at Pizza Pipeline located at 1403 N Division, all ages are welcome. Tickets are available via TicketsWest.com, by calling 1-800-325-SEAT, or by visiting any TicketsWest box office location.

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