Shock Hold Off Portland, 42-40 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Shock Hold Off Portland, 42-40

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Arvell Nelso led the Shock offense to a playoff-implication win on Saturday night. Arvell Nelso led the Shock offense to a playoff-implication win on Saturday night.

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane Shock came one step closer to clinching a playoff spot with a 42-40 win over their Pacific Division rivals, the Portland Thunder, at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday night.

The Thunder (4-12, 1-5 Pacific) took advantage of a sluggish Shock (6-10, 2-4 Pacific) first quarter, scoring back-to-back touchdowns on Kyle Rowley passes sandwiched around a Dwight McClean interception in the red zone on Spokane’s first drive.

The Shock responded with a 6-yard Bryson Kelly touchdown run to keep the game within a touchdown early in the second quarter on their second drive of the game.

Kelly continued to pound and plod for yards from the Spokane backfield on his way to big first downs and 36 yards rushing to go with his 2 touchdowns.

John Martinez set up his own 4-yard TD run with a shock 8-yard reception from his line position to give the Thunder a 20-7 lead with 9:41 left in the second quarter.

Nick Truesdell cut the Portland lead in half for the Shock with a leaping 13-yard touchdown reception over the boards from Nelson’s high pass right before the half.

Spokane came out of the locker rooms looking like a different team.

“Well I get angry, I’ll tell you that,” Shock head coach Andy Olson said. “When we play like that I’m not happy. Even though we scored last and we got the ball coming out, I was really mad at these guys, I was really mad, because we shouldn’t be playing like that in the first quarter. We’ve got to figure out a way to come out a little bit more on fire. We can’t continue to expect to win games going down 20-7 every time we step on the field.”

Nelson continued the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown plunge on the Shock’s first drive of the second half to tie things up at 20-20 after Taylor Rowan’s missed point after attempt.

The Spokane defense forced a turnover on downs to set up a 4-yard TD run around the end for Kelly. The Shock defense forced another turnover on downs in Portland territory and Nelson dove in for a 3-yard score to give Spokane a 32-20 lead with 0:50 left in the third quarter.

Martinez ended the Thunder’s 32:42 scoring drought with an 8-yard TD reception from Rowley with 6:59 left in the fourth quarter. Portland cut the Spokane lead to only six points because of back-to-back-to-back PAT misses from Taylor Rowan on the Shock’s three third-quarter TDs.

Anthony Amos grabbed a 20-yard touchdown pass from Nelson to give the Shock a 39-27 lead with 4:10 left in the fourth quarter to make it a two-score game again.

It didn’t last long.

Duane Brooks returned the ensuing kickoff 57 yards for a Thunder touchdown to keep things close again, 39-34.

Spokane recovered the onside kick attempt, but weren’t able to score with the late field and the clock winding down. Rowan came on to kick the field goal with 54 seconds left in the game, sailing the 20-yard attempt into the slack net to give the Shock a 42-34 lead.

After a Shock bonus penalty, Rowley found an open V’Keon Perry for a 25-yard TD to the left corner of the endzone to pull within two points. The Thunder converted on the two-point conversion, but it was called back because of a false start. Further down the field now, Rowley wasn’t able to find his receiver on the second attempt.

Truesdell recovered the onside kick attempt and the Shock ran out the clock.

“It’s just finding a way to win,” Olson said. “The whole year we’ve been in that situation about five times this season; 30 seconds left, we have the ball in our hands, able to seal the deal and we haven’t done that. We did that this time.”

Nelson finished with 177 yards passing, 26 rushing and four total touchdowns to lead the Shock offense. Amos and Truesdell combined for 140 yards receiving and a touchdown each.

“We don’t want to get into the playoffs; we want to go deep into the playoffs,” Olson said. “So we obviously have a long way to go if we want to face one of those teams.”

The victory gave the Shock their first back-to-back wins of the season.

Portland vs. Spokane Scoring

1st Quarter
PDX – Perry 18-yard Pass from Rowley (PAT Missed) – 11:40 
PDX – Lacey 4-yard Pass from Rowley (PAT Good) – 3:09

2nd Quarter
SPO – Kelly 6-yard Run (PAT Good) – 13:50
PDX – Martinez 4-yard Run (PAT Good) – 9:41
SPO – Truesdell 13-yard Pass from Nelson (PAT Good) – 0:13

3rd Quarter
SPO – Nelson 2-yard Run (PAT Missed) – 10:26
SPO – Kelly 4-yard Run (PAT Missed) – 6:26
SPO – Nelson 3-yard Run (PAT Missed) – 0:50

4th Quarter
PDX – Martinez 8-yard Pass from Rowley (PAT Good) – 6:59
SPO – Amos 20-yard Pass from Nelson (PAT Good) – 4:10
PDX – Brooks 57-yard Kickoff Return (PAT Good) – 3:22
SPO – Rowan 20-yard Field Goal – 0:54
PDX – Perry 25-yard Pass from Rowley (Conversion Failed) – 0:29

Post-Game Awards

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: SPO QB Arvell Nelson

Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: SPO DB Mike McMillan

J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: SPO WR Anthony Amos

Cutters Catch of the Game: SPO WR Nick Truesdell’s TD catch over the boards in Q2

AFL Highlight of the Game: PDX WR Duane Brook’s kick return for a TD in Q4

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