Iowa hands Shock first loss

Spokane's unbeaten run is over. The Shock were uncharacteristically mistake-prone while dropping a 54-48 decision to Iowa on Saturday. Read on for more details.


Spokane built a 12-0 record by dominating the turnover margin, limiting penalties and relying on a stingy defense.

But the top-ranked Shock committed three turnovers – not counting a bungled center-quarterback exchange that led to a safety – and numerous penalties that proved costly in a 54-48 arenafootball2 loss to the Iowa Barnstormers in front of 8,042 Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Shock’s 12-game winning streak and 16-game road winning streak were snapped. Spokane will likely drop out of the top spot in the rankings after a record-setting run of 16 weeks at No. 1.

Iowa (9-4) avenged a 49-30 loss in Spokane two months ago.

“In the first half we beat ourselves,” Shock head coach Adam Shackleford said. “Defensively we played pretty well. Offensively it was abominable.”

The Barnstormers’ Micah King recovered an on-side kick and ran it in for a touchdown to break a tie midway through the fourth quarter. Shock quarterback Nick Davila fumbled when he was hit by defensive lineman Brent Curvey and Iowa’s Charles Johnson recovered. On the next play, Brian Villanueva tossed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Errick McCown and Iowa led 48-35 with 2:43 remaining.

Davila’s third touchdown pass to Raul Vijil narrowed the deficit to six, but Spokane was penalized on the on-side kick for touching the football before it traveled the required 10 yards. Dusty Kain’s fourth TD reception bumped Iowa’s lead to 54-42. Davila scored on a 1-yard run and Spokane recovered the ensuing on-side kick, but was flagged for kick-catch interference, its 10th penalty.

Iowa ran out the clock for a key win that gives the Barnstormers a one-game edge over Green Bay in the Midwest Division. Spokane’s lead over Boise is down to one game, but the Shock own the tiebreaker with a 2-0 record against the Burn. Spokane also has a one-game edge over Tulsa for best record in the National Conference.

Spokane trailed 25-14 after a sloppy first half. Vijil fumbled on Spokane’s first possession and the Shock had drives stopped on downs at Iowa’s 1- and 2-yard line.

The Shock pulled even in the fourth quarter at 28 on Vijil’s 11-yard touchdown catch and at 35 on Olson’s TD grab on fourth-and-3 at the Iowa 4, but the Barnstormers responded down the stretch.

Spokane entertains Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (11-2), which will probably be No. 1 in next week’s poll, on Saturday.


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Jim Meehan
Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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