Shock Clinch Western Divisional with Win Over Central Valley
With an 11-1 recordmost Spokane Shock fans may have thought a 7-4 Central Valley Coyotes team would not have posed much of a challenge for the division leaders and second place af2 league team, Spokane Shock . However, that was anything but the case.
The game started rather quiet. Four touchdowns, two missed extra points and two teams going back and forth. The ninth man was quiet. However, as Lori mentioned, the ninth man was back in swing after the penalties generated by Central Valley in the second quarter.
Unfortunately, this still did not get the Shock in gear. In games past, the Shock defense was simply everywhere pounding the opposing team, applying pressure on the quarterbacks, breaking up passes and landing hard hits. Tonight that same energy level was reserved. After the game, Shock LB Lee Foliaki confirmed our observation when he stated, “..we had to pull back our blitzes because they use their fullbacks and tight ends a lot.”
Spokane Shock quarterback Nick Davila had pressure all through the first half, resulting in a sack and scrambling to make plays. Central Valley did a fantastic job in reading the Shock offense preventing many big plays.
On the other side of the ball, Central Valley had very little difficulty moving down the field. The Shock defense was making stops at key moments, but overall was flat the first half in comparison to previous games.
With 3:34 seconds left in the game, Shock had a chance for an onside kick. Worst case scenario, Central Valley would recover and make a touchdown. We get the ball back and score to win. Best case scenario, Shock recovers and runs out the clock resulting in a touchdown.
Shock went for the onside kick and recovered the ball. After several plays and only five seconds left, the Shock won with a field goal.
After the game, we interviewed Shock head coach Adam Shackleford. He summed it up pretty well with, “We had a great game. We played excellent all the way to the end.”
Like so many games in the inaugural season, this win will go down in the history books as another classic Shock nail-bitter that was won in the last seconds of the game.
Wide receiver Kelvin Dickens had the first reception of the game and achieved a first down for the Shock. It appeared he started the game as well as he ended the one in their last match up with the Coyotes in Spokane. WR Andy Olson then fought hard for more yardage which aided in the touchdown reception by WR Raul Vijil a play later.
Central Valley answered back with a touchdown rather quickly. I was disappointed with the Shock defense; I really thought they'd have a lot more passion and energy after last weeks loss to South Georgia. Central Valley's defense, however, really put the pressure on our offense, making the first two touchdowns hard-earned for the Shock.
We have the Coyotes to thank for putting an end their own momentum with penalties, including unsportsmanlike conduct on Head Coach Fred Biletnikoff, Jr. This activity also charged up the 10,549 fans, who up until then seemed uncharacteristically quiet. The first quarter ended with the Shock up
20-13, Raul “the thrill” Vijil the receiver of all three touchdowns.
The second quarter continued much the same as the first, the Shock scoring two more touchdowns. WR Patrick Bugg, catching an 8-yard pass from Davila, and Vijil, his fourth touchdown of the night, an amazing one-handed 7-yard pass reception from Davila. Central Valley had three touchdowns, but failed to monopolize on a 2-point conversion. Shock lead by one, 34-33, at the end of the first half.
Central Valley came on strong and scored quickly in the third quarter. They made it quite apparent that they were still in the game and that the Shock would need to fight hard to win. The quarter flew by, largely due to the intensity and massive amount of action happening on the field. Both teams were tied at 40 at the end of the third quarter, each team only scoring one touchdown.
Shock DB Sergio Gilliam swooped in to save the day early in the fourth with an interception, preventing a Central Valley touchdown. Unfortunately, Davila gave the ball back to Central Valley when throwing an interception of his own.
The play that made the difference in tonight's game was the decision for the Shock to go for an onside kick well into the fourth quarter. Shock came up with the ball and took it in for a quick touchdown. However, there was still plenty of time left for Central Valley to score, which is exactly what they did. They were up by one point with 16 seconds left in the game.
Davila and crew went to work and got the ball down the field to set up for a field goal attempt by Shock kicker Brian Jackson. Jackson has nailed the majority of extra point kicks most of the season, but he had been off tonight. There was concern as to whether he was going to make it. The crowd and Shock players celebrated in a frenzy as they watched the ball sail flawlessly through the uprights to win the game and the Western Division Championship.
Shawn is in the process of completing and publishing an ebook entitled "The Complete HTPC Guide: Everyone's Guide To Building A Home Theater PC". Shawn has a structured wiring company where he helps homeowners create automated homes through the use of home electronics and computers.
Lori is an aspiring children's writer. After years of being an accomplished QA Analyst for a cutting edge software manufacturer, she now enjoys spending her time with her family and writing.