The Spokane Shock took down the Iowa Barnstormers 64-35 in front of a sellout of 10,224 in the Shock’s 2014 home opener.
After a slow start for Spokane on both sides of the ball, an onslaught of scoring by Spokane’s offense led by wide receiver Adron Tennell’s three touchdowns eventually extinguished the Barnstormers.
The Shock opened up the first quarter of play flat, allowing a 31-yard pass from quarterback Carson Coffman to wide receiver Julian Willams to put the Barnstormers up 7-0 within two minutes of kickoff. The early touchdown was compounded by a broken first play for the Shock offense resulting in an Iowa safety when quarterback Erik Meyer went down in the end zone.
However, the Shock would respond on offense after a fourth down stop by the defense, with Meyer taking the ball in on the ground for a score from two yards out, cutting the Iowa lead to 9-7.
An explosive second quarter of play started with another Iowa touchdown through the air, this time to wide receiver Marco Thomas from 11 yards out. The touchdown extended Iowa’s lead to 15-7 before a botched extra point resulted in a safety for Spokane to make the score 15-9. The Shock followed up the safety with a long drive ending in a Meyer to Tennell touchdown strike, putting the Shock up 16-15 and giving them their first lead of the game.
Tennell and Meyer would connect again in the third, with Tennell making an acrobatic grab in the corner of the end zone to extend the Shock’s lead over Iowa to 22-15. On the final play of the first half Shock defensive back and return man Terrance Sanders provided some fireworks, returning a missed Iowa field goal the length of the field for a 56-yard touchdown. The electric return put the Shock up 28-16 heading into halftime.
Spokane added some more cushion to their lead in the third quarter, but for the third time on the night, Iowa struck first. Thomas reeled in his second touchdown reception of the night on a seven-yard pass from Coffman, puling Iowa within eight at 21-29.
But back-to-back scoring drives from the Shock would extend Spokane’s lead all the way out to 43-21. A Brandon Thompkins catch for a six-yard score and Meyer’s second touchdown of the night on the ground put Spokane up by two scores heading into the final quarter of play.
Iowa would respond once more at the beginning of the fourth quarter, striking for a one-yard touchdown run to bring the game back within reach at 28-43. The Shock would not let the reduced lead stand for long, though, with Meyer and Washington connecting on a 36-yard touchdown through the air on the Shock’s first play of the ensuing drive.
The touchdown was the first for Washington in his Spokane tenure. A Jeremy Geathers fumble recovery in the end zone for a score and Tennell’s third and final touchdown of the night put Spokane up 64-28. A 49-yard Iowa touchdown on a fumble recovery by Ter’Ran Benton would get the two to the final score of 64-35.
Meyer finished the night with 21 completions for 183 yards and five touchdowns through the air, adding a pair of rushing touchdowns as well. Tennell led all receivers with nine receptions for 81 yards and three touchdowns. The Shock travel to Arizona in week two for a rematch of last seasons National Conference Championship.