SPOKANE, WA (May 23, 2014) – The Spokane Shock (5-5, 2-1) dropped a Pacific Division matchup against the San Jose SaberCats (7-3, 4-1) by a score of 52-34 on Friday night in front of 8,579 fans at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
The divisional rivals have now met twice this year, and with the victory the SaberCats evened up the series record at 1-1 while pushing their divisional lead to two games.
Shock quarterback Brian Zbydniewski finished his first game behind center for Spokane 24-42 for 303 yards and two touchdowns while also contributing 8 rushes for 12 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Spokane wide receiver Rashaad Carter led all receivers with nine catches for 86 yards and one touchdown while Mike Washington hauled in 7 receptions for 100 yards.
Linebacker Terence Moore led a Shock defense that created two San Jose turnovers on down; Moore totaled 7.5 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks. Defensive linemen Jeremy Geathers and Terrance Taylor combined for 2.5 sacks on the night.
Spokane opened the game with a stalled drive, eventually kicking a field goal into the stands to put the SaberCats offense on their own 17-yard line to start their first drive. San Jose took only one play to get into the end zone, with Michna finding Jason Willis for a 32-yard touchdown strike, putting the SaberCats up 7-0 early. The Shock would drive the ball all the way down into the San Jose red zone on the following drive, only to be turned away by a Ken Fontenette interception in the end zone. The SaberCats took advantage of the extra opportunity and Odie Armstrong punched in a 2-yard rushing touchdown to put San Jose up 14-0. The Shock would not be quiet on their next drive, though, with Zbydniewski hitting Brandon Thompkins for a 14-yard touchdown to cut the SaberCats lead to 14-6.
A few minutes into the second quarter Armstrong found himself again in the end zone on his second 2-yard touchdown run of the night, putting San Jose back up by two scores at 21-6. Another strong Shock drive would follow, only to again be turned away by an interception, this time by Clevan Thomas on the wall. The Spokane defense would come through on the following drive, though, forcing a turnover on downs with an incomplete pass by Michna on 4th and 7. The Shock offense went back to work with 1:29 left in the half, finishing off a long drive with a Zbydniewski 4-yard touchdown run, making the score 21-13 in favor of the SaberCats. After a kickoff, the San Jose offense took over on offense with just over three seconds remaining in the half. On the final play of the half Michna would find Curry in the back of the end zone for a score to put the SaberCats up 28-13 heading into halftime.
San Jose received the kickoff to start a quiet third quarter. A 13-yard touchdown pass from Michna to Curry capped off their drive and put the SaberCats up 35-13, their first three-score lead of the game. But the Shock closed the gap again on their next drive, with Zbydniewski plunging into the end zone on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to make the score 35-20. After two touchdowns through the air, Curry got into the end zone on San Jose’s ensuing drive, sending the score to 42-20 in favor of the visitors heading into the final quarter.
Spokane and San Jose exchanged turnovers on down to open the fourth quarter, with the Shock finally getting into the end zone on their second try of the quarter with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Zbydniewski to Carter. The SaberCats would account for the final three scores in the contest, finding the end zone twice and kicking a field goal to cap a 52-34 divisional win.