Shock Surprise Arizona, 52-45 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Shock Surprise Arizona, 52-45

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Arvell Nelson finished led Spokane with six total touchdowns to shock the Rattlers. (Photo: Shock) Arvell Nelson finished led Spokane with six total touchdowns to shock the Rattlers. (Photo: Shock)

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Spokane Shock scored 17 unanswered points before halftime and held the high-powered Arizona Rattlers offense to only three scores in the second half to earn the surprise 52-45 win at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday night.

The Rattlers (12-3, 4-1 West) jumped out to a 14-point lead behind two Nick Davila 4-yard touchdown passes after an early interception and turnover on downs for the Shock (5-10, 1-4 Pacific).

After being held scoreless in the first frame, Spokane rattled off 31 points in the second quarter versus the Rattlers.

Spokane needed three tries near the goal line to put their first points on the board, but finally Bryson Kelly rumbled in from about the 6-inch line to cut the Arizona lead in half with 12:10 left in the second quarter.

The Shock snuck an Arvell Nelson TD pass to Anthony Amos in between two Rattlers touchdowns, both with missed extra point attempts, to trail 26-14 with 2:11 left until halftime.

Spokane scored three times in 34 seconds of the second quarter to turn the tide of the game. Nelson brought them within one score with a 1-yard touchdown run for the first score. On the ensuing kickoff a bar ball bounced the Shock's to set up Nelson for a 10-yard TD pass to Amos to take their first lead of the game. Mike McMillan intercepted Davila's pass off the wall following a tip from Ruschard Dodd-Masters and a play later Taylor Rowan put the cherry on top for Spokane with a 35-yard field goal as time ran out in the first half.

"You could see the spark in the guys eyes," Nelson said about going into halftime. "A play here, a play there, the ball fumbled here, fumbled there. Momentum on your side is a big thing."

Arizona opened the third quarter with a 14-yard TD pass from Davila to Kerry Reed to reclaim the lead, but that would be the last time the defending ArenaBowl champions were in front in the game. 

Nelson hit Nick Truesdell over the middle for a 29-yard touchdown. Nelson and Amos connected for their third score on an 11-yard pass after the Shock defense forced a turnover on downs in their own redzone to give Spokane a 45-32 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Davila and the Rattlers answered with a drive and score on a 9-yard TD pass to Reed, but head coach Kevin Guy elected to attempt a trick two-point conversion that was sniffed out by James Ruffin to keep the Shock lead at a touchdown.

Nelson led the Shock downfield and scored his second rushing touchdown of the night on another sneak near paydirt with 1:20 left in the game to help seal the deal.

"We finally made the plays that we've been needing to make all season long,"Spokane head coach Andy Olson said. "Guys stepped up in the pressure moments. That's the difference between winning and losing. Tonight the guys were clutch when they needed to be clutch."

Nelson finished with 259 yards passing and six total touchdowns (two rushing) in his first-ever start.

Arizona scored one final time and gave the Shock a late scare on the final play of the game but it wasn't enough to earn the comeback.

"We were just taking it one game at a time," McMillan said. "All we were worried about was beating Arizona. We weren't worrying about the playoffs or any of that. So next up. I don't even know who's next up I was just worried about Arizona."

Spokane hosts Pacific Division rival Portland next Saturday, July 25, in their final home game of the season at the Spokane Arena at 7 p.m. PT live on SWX.

"We need to win out," Olson proclaimed after the win. "We need to win the last three games and we needed momentum going into it. If you beat Arizona you can beat anybody, and we've to believe that."

SCORING SUMMARY

1st Quarter

08:29 – AZ – Reed 4-yard pass from Davila (Scaccia PAT) AZ 7-0

03:25 – AZ – Windsor 4-yard pass from Davila (Scaccia PAT) AZ 14-0

2nd Quarter

12:10 – SPO – Kelly 1-yard run (Rowan PAT) AZ 14-7

09:00 – AZ – Benson 26-yard pass from Davila (Scaccia PAT missed) AZ 20-7

05:53 – SPO – Amos 8-yard pass from Nelson (Rowan PAT) AZ 20-14

02:11 – AZ – Windsor 9-yard pass from Davila (Scaccia PAT missed) AZ 26-14

00:34 – SPO – Nelson 1-yard run (Rowan PAT) AZ 26-21

00:19 – SPO – Amos 10-yard pass from Nelson (Rowan PAT) SPO 28-26

00:00 – SPO – Rowan 35-yard field goal SPO 31-26

3rd Quarter

11:36 – AZ – Reed 14-yard pass from Davila (Scaccia PAT missed) AZ 32-31

08:34 – SPO – Truesdell 29-yard pass from Nelson (Rowan PAT) SPO 38-32

4th Quarter

07:07 – SPO – Amos 11-yard pass from Nelson (Rowan PAT) SPO 45-32

03:01 – AZ – Reed 9-yard pass from Davila (2-pt failed) SPO 45-38

01:20 – SPO – Nelson 1-yard rush (Rowan PAT) SPO 52-38

00:26 – AZ – Buckner 5-yard pass from Davila (Scaccia PAT) SPO 52-45

POST-GAME AWARDS

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: SPO WR Anthony Amos

Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: SPO DB Mike McMillan

J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: SPO QB Arvell Nelson

Cutters Catch of the Game: SPO DB Mike McMillan’s interception in Q2

AFL Highlight of the Game: SPO DL Derrick Summers sack-forced fumble setting up a Shock score as a part of 31-point Q2

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