Shock start playoffs with win
The road to the ArenaCup starts here. The question is, will it be the end of the Shock's electrifying season, or will witness a victory that will push them into the second round of the playoffs? Only time will tell, but it was a first to see the fans on their feet prior to kickoff. The Ninth Man arrived early and were loud, sending a clear message to the Wranglers that they aimed to cheer their beloved Shock to victory.
The Shock won the toss and deferred to kick to the Wranglers, stopping them at the 6-yard line. The Shock defense immediately put pressure on QB Andy Hall. The Wranglers were unable to move the ball and turned the it over on downs.
Shock QB Nick Davila connected with WR Andy Olson for positive yards on two occasions, setting up the 6-yard reception and run for touchdown by OL Kyle Young.
The Shock defense continued to dominate the Wrangler offense, forcing another turnover on downs. The Shock offense took their second possession at the 24-yard line. The Shock, who switched out QB Davila with QB Jason Murrietta, came within a few yards of another touchdown, but Murrietta fumbled the ball. The ball was recovered by the Wranglers. The first quarter ended with the Shock on top,
Two particular Shock players stood out defensively: DB Roshawn Marshall and DB Nygel Rogers. It seemed both players were reading Austin's plays as they were constantly at the ready to wrangle the Austin offensive line.
Despite the onslaught of the Shock defense, the Wranglers scored early in the second quarter, tying the game 7–7. Their defense also stepped it up and held the Shock scoreless on their next possession.
To the delight of the Shock defense, the roar of Ninth Man was credited for the delay of game penalty against the Wranglers. This forced a Wrangler field goal attempt, which was missed and put the ball back into the hands of the Shock.
Davila immediately connected with WR Raul Vijil for positive yardage. Davila and Olson finished Shock's trip down the field with a 30-yard touchdown reception. Shock Kicker Brian Jackson completed his second successful extra point attempt, putting the Shock back in the lead, 14– 7.
A second delay of game penalty was called against the Wranglers late in the second quarter. The Wranglers were close to scoring, but the Shock intercepted the ball twice. Once, by DB Roshawn Marshall, but that play was declined due to a Shock penalty. The second, on the very next play by DB Sergio Gilliam, giving the ball back to the Shock with just seconds left in the first half. Gilliam, named the ADT Defensive Player of the Game, also had another interception in the fourth quarter.
Davila connected with Vijil again, putting the Shock within field goal range for kicker Brian Jackson. Unfortunately, the field goal attempt was no good. The first half ended with the Shock up 14–7.
The Shock offense came alive in the third quarter, after a very fiery half-time talk from Head Coach Adam Shackleford. Raul “the thrill” Vijil was the first to score in the third quarter, receiving a 5-yard touchdown pass. Olson scored next, his second touchdown, a 24-yard reception.
And the Shock kept on scoring. OL/DB Harrison Nikolao had a 2-yard run for a touchdown and OL Kyle Young wrapped up the Shock second-half scoring frenzy with his second touchdown of the night.
Austin did succeed in scoring another touchdown, but that was all she wrote. Their offense just could not shake the Shock defense, who held them scoreless the remainder of the game. The Shock won
42-14 and move on to round two of the playoffs.
The first playoff game is always the most nerve-racking because you really are not sure how a team will perform in a do or die situation. Tonight, the Shock proved to be a playoff caliber team.
The Ninth Man were definitely ready and eager to cheer on their beloved team. Tonight was another special game because our son was there for his second Shock game. This allowed Lori and I to sit and interact with the fans. It helped that we had great seats behind the team dugouts. I witnessed fans taunting the opposing team, refs and cheering the Shock.
I asked one fan why he had chosen Wranglers OL/DL Demetrice Jackson to pick on. He stated, “You can always pinpoint the guys that like to talk the most and I knew I could get to him.” Jackson was a great sport and played along with the fan without getting bent out of shape.
Anyway, back to the game. The Shock's offense was not with it in the first half. They weren't clicking. The Wranglers had to face the onslaught of the Shock defense, who was playing at the top of their game. The Shock defense had a total of eight very important stops that kept the Shock in the game and the Wranglers off balance.
I have been and still am very impressed with Shock WR Andy Olson. He continues to fight for every yard he can after being hit and tackled. He has proven all season to go above and beyond the norm. This is in no way a put down on the rest of the Shock players. Andy just simply does not give up with the first few hits. Instead, he will drag frustrated DB's as far as humanly possible after being hit.
Shock WR/DB Roshawn Marshall and Shock DB Nygel Rogers were both on fire tonight. For that matter, so was the rest of the defense. They were adding tremendous pressure and reacting to the Wrangler offense as if they were in the huddle with them. I just cannot say enough about the defense. They were impressive.
According to Shock OL Kyle Young and other players, Shock Head Coach Adam Shackleford had a fiery speech at half time that got the Shock offense in gear. This was made apparent with their commanding presence in the second half. The Shock played in harmony and continued to stay 2-3 scores ahead of the Wranglers. That being said, the Shock did not disappoint the Ninth Man. I have every confidence that the Shock are on their way to obtaining those coveted ArenaCup rings.
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.