LIVE ON SWX: Shock Host Arizona In Week 17 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

LIVE ON SWX: Shock Host Arizona In Week 17

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James Ruffin and the Spokane Shock host Arizona on Friday. James Ruffin and the Spokane Shock host Arizona on Friday.

by Shock Media Relations

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Shock (4-10, 1-4) will return to Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Week 17 of the 2015 AFL regular season to host the Arizona Rattlers (12-2, 4-1) on Friday, July 17 at 7:00 p.m. PT. Game coverage will live on SWX-TV, online via WatchESPN.com and the WatchSWX and WatchESPN apps. Radio coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. PT on the Shock-VPI Radio Network on AM 700 ESPN Spokane.

GAME NIGHT INFORMATION

This Friday’s game is “Military Appreciation Night” presented by Aaron’s and Rock 94.5 FM Spokane. Beginning at 5:00 p.m. PT fans will be able to enjoy the all-new tailgating zone in the north parking lot while AM 700 ESPN Spokane hosts a live remote from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. as the first 3,500 fans to enter Spokane Arena receive a Shock flag courtesy of Aaron’s. Post-game party action will be at The Swinging Doors (1018 W Francis).

MATCH-UP HISTORY

This will be the 16th meeting between the teams and the final of three total match-ups slated for the 2015 regular season. The Rattlers lead the all-time series with a 9-6 advantage.

The Week 10 match-up in Spokane resulted in a 47-59 loss for the Shock. Arizona took control of the contest early, led by back-up quarterback Shane Boyd in the absence of Nick Davila (toe injury). The Rattlers jumped out to a two score lead to open the contest after holding Spokane to a four-and-out on their opening possession. Despite holding Arizona scoreless in the third quarter, the Rattlers would go on to post 25-points in the final quarter of play. The Shock had a late opportunity as they trailed 47-52 within the final minute, but an interception by Arizona defensive back Jeremy Kellem would allow the Rattlers to close out the victory.

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. The Shock were unable to make up the deficit in the second half as Arizona would close out the win.

GAME PREVIEW

Arizona will enter Week 17 of the regular season having clinched the West Division title, but will continue to chase San Jose for home-field advantage in the playoffs as they currently trail the Sabercats by one game.

The Shock are currently fighting for the fourth seed in the playoff race, but after a loss last week are tied with Portland with an overall record of 4-10. Due to Spokane’s 15-point victory over the Thunder on June 21, the Shock maintain an 11-point advantage in head to head competition. The final regular season match-up between the Pacific Division teams will take place on Saturday, July 25 in Spokane.

Portland finishes out the season with games against San Jose (July 18), Spokane, Las Vegas, and Arizona. The Shock will finish their regular season schedule against Arizona (July 17), Portland, Cleveland, and Las Vegas.

Last week against Los Angeles, the Shock were held scoreless in the first quarter of play. After making a switch at quarterback in the second half as Warren Smith was relieved by Arvell Nelson, Spokane posted 21-points in the third quarter. Nelson recorded two passing touchdowns and one rushing score in the game. Spokane limited the Kiss to six points in the second half and had an opportunity for the tying score in the final seconds of the game, but an incomplete pass as time expired would allow Los Angeles to seal the win.

Arizona defeated Las Vegas by a final score of 57-43 in Week 16. Despite two interceptions, Nick Davila passed for eight touchdown passes (four to receiver Rod Windsor) on the night while the Rattler’s defense recorded two interceptions of their own and held the Outlaws to two-of-four fourth down conversions. Arizona went into half-time with a 21-14 lead and then tallied 23 unanswered points in the third quarter to record the home victory.  

The Rattlers are currently ranked third in the AFL as they have posted 56.7 points per game this season. They have limited their opponents to 44.6 points per game (ranked second).

Spokane has struggled to put points on the board this season as they have averaged 47.1 points per game (ranked ninth). The defense, ranked last in the AFL, has given up 56.6 points per game.

After splitting last week’s game between quarterback Warren Smith and Arvell Nelson, the Shock will enter Week 17 with a decision to make under center. Smith faced off against Arizona in Week 10 and completed 31-of-47 pass attempts for 316 yards, seven total touchdowns (six passing), and two interceptions.

The Shock could activate receiver Rashaad Carter from the injured reserve list this week after he underwent thumb surgery and missed the last six games. Prior to his departure, Carter had recorded 51 receptions for 648 yards and 11 touchdowns. Samuel Charles, who was reactivated from league suspension last week, went down during the game again Las Vegas with a knee injury. If Charles is deemed unable to play this week, Carter could return to the starting lineup with receivers Nick Truesdell and Anthony Amos with Jabin Sambrano in support.

Arizona quarterback Nick Davila has played in ten games this season and completed 67.7 percent of his passes (222-328) for 2,570 yards, 65 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. Receiver Rod Windsor is ranked fifth in the AFL in receiving yards per game (106.8) as he has seen action in 12 games and recorded 104 receptions for 1,282 yards and 30 touchdowns.

The Rattlers’ defensive secondary is tied for second in the league with 22 interceptions on the season. Jeremy Kellem leads the AFL with 12 while Marquis Floyd and Arkeith Brown have each recorded five.

Arizona has recorded the second most sacks this season (28). The Rattlers’ defensive front is led by linebacker Tyre Glasper with ten sacks (ranked third) and defensive lineman Michael Macadoo with 7.5 (ranked seventh). Spokane has recorded 20 sacks through 14 games, led by defensive lineman James Ruffin with eight sacks on the season (ranked sixth) and linebacker Derrick Summers with five.

The Rattlers’ offensive line has done a very good job of protecting their signal callers this season as they have only allowed eight sacks through 14 games (tied for second). Spokane, on the other hand, has had issues up front and allowed 27 sacks this season (tied for ninth).

Protecting the football has been an issue for the Shock so far this season as they are ranked seventh in the AFL with a turnover margin of minus-six. Arizona has recorded a turnover margin of plus-19 on the season (ranked second).

Tickets for this Friday’s game are still available at all TicketsWest box office locations, online at TicketsWest.com, or by phone at 1-800-325-SEAT.

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