Shock Defeat Boise Burn
Considering the fact that the Shock came into tonight's game with the best record in all of af2, one would think that this game against Boise (8-7) was a sure win. However, that was not the case. The Burn fought hard all four quarters as a win would have pushed them into a playoff spot.
Spokane won the toss, but deferred and kicked to Boise. Boise scored within the first seconds of the game with a 56-yard kick off return for a touchdown by DS Demond Williams. The extra point attempt by former Shock Levi Madarieta was no good.
The Shock offense had a sloppy start, including a fumble that was thankfully recovered by QB Nick Davila. One play later, LB Kevin McCullough ran the ball 3-yards for a Shock touchdown. Unfortunately, Kicker Brian Jackson's extra point attempt was no good. The game was tied at six each.
The Shock Defense made up for the sloppy offensive start. They held Boise to minimal yardage, allowing Shock to take over on downs. Davila connected with WR Patrick Bugg for a 20-yard touchdown reception. The duo then successfully maneuvered a 2-point conversion. This not only made up for the missed extra point kick, but also gave the Shock the lead 14–6.
Shock WR Andy Olson was the next to score for the Shock with a 1-yard rushing touchdown. Prior to the touchdown, Bugg made a crucial reception and then ran for yardage to put the Shock within 2-yards of scoring.
Boise Head Coach Lee Leslie gave the Shock an extra 10-yards with the unsportsmanlike penalty called against him shortly after Shock's DL Lee Foliaki recovered a Boise fumble. Olson scored again for the Shock, this time a 6-yard reception from Davila.
Boise scored twice in the second quarter and pulled ahead for the first time of the game 28-27 with 17 seconds left in the half. Vijil returned the ball for positive yardage, but the Shock had only 11 seconds to score. Davila connected with WR Etu Molden for a first down and in the position for a Brian Jackson field goal in the last two seconds of the half. Jackson nailed the 38-yard field goal and put the Shock back on top 30-28.
Shock WR Etu Molden was the first to score in the second half, receiving a 13-yard pass from Davila. Jackson nailed the extra point kick, pulling the Shock further ahead 37-28. DB Roshawn Marshall then recovered a Boise fumble and ran for extra yardage. Unfortunately, FB Katon Bethay fumbled on the next play, giving the ball back to Boise.
The Ninth Man came on strong in the third quarter, which really revved up the Shock defense. DL Devon Parks sacked Boise QB Royal Gill, which only further fueled the Ninth Man. Boise was forced to take a time out because of the noise. The Shock defense pulled out all the stops and forced yet another turn over on downs.
A would-be Vijil touchdown was taken away due to a holding call against Shock OL Ryan Belcher. This not only caused a loss of a touchdown, but also 10 yards. Unfortunately, the next play was intercepted by Boise and resulted in a touchdown. The Shock narrowly held Boise at bay 37-35.
The Shock switched out injured QB Davila with QB Jason Murrietta, who connected with Bugg for a 23-yard touchdown reception very late in the third quarter. The extra point kick was good and the Shock ended the third quarter up 44–35.
Boise scored early in the fourth, but the Shock answered back when Bugg scored his fourth touchdown of the game, the recipient of a 15-yard pass from Murrietta. With the successful extra point attempt from Jackson, the Shock led 51-42.
Boise answered back with a 54-yard kickoff return by WR Terre Saunders, which put Boise within three points of tying the game. Murrietta led the Shock down the field and scored again with a 1-yard touchdown.
The Shock attempted an onside kick, but it was recovered by Boise. Boise was well on their way to another score when Shock's DB Tremaine Tyler executed a 52-yard interception return in the last seconds of the game.
I was concerned that the Shock were going to go easy and coast into the playoffs or be so confident that they would make mental errors. Neither of these concerns were realized. The Shock played well despite four starters sitting out by the end of the night due to injuries.
The Shock came into tonight's game to break records, while the Boise Burn were concerned with keeping their playoff hopes alive. Like Lori mentioned, the Shock needed to have a reason to dominate in this game. Realistically, the Shock had nothing to lose with a loss tonight.
The Shock defense and Ninth Man had a hard time in the first half. It was a back and forth battle between the two teams. The score reflected that both teams were fighting hard for every yard. Even the kickers were having a tough time with their extra points. The first half lacked intensity.
We talked to DB Sergio Gilliam about the quiet first half. He stated, “It was quiet. We weren't flying around like we wanted to. So, we came together on the sidelines and said we need to get our fans into this. This is the Ninth Man. This is the last home game and some of our fans will not be able to come to the playoff games so we got to get them excitement and have fun out there.”
It worked. Everyone woke up in the third quarter, especially when Shock DB Roshawn Marshall recovered a Boise fumble. The crowd went crazy and the defense really got fired up. On the other side of the ball, Boise continued to make good plays, but this did not phase the Ninth Man or the Shock. The energy levels continued to soar as did the roar of the fans. It was loud! Sergio Gilliam commented about the noise, too. He stated, “I think it was the loudest I've ever heard it tonight.”
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.