Posts tagged: Shock football
James Ruffin, who was honored as the 2014 AFL defensive lineman of the year, will return to Spokane for the 2015 season, the team announced.
Ruffin set a franchise record with 14 sacks last season and was named first-team All-AFL. The Northern Iowa product also owns the Shock record for career sacks with 26 in three seasons. Ruffin joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in training camp following the AFL season, but was released in late August.
“There aren’t many players out there, at any level, like James Ruffin,” Shock coach Andy Olson said. “During his time here in Spokane he has been a model example of what it means to be a leader both on the field and in our community.”
It's been a rough stretch for the Spokane Shock, who lost another key player in free agency.
DB/KR Terrance Sanders, the 2013 AFL playmaker of the year, signed a two-year contract with Jacksonville. Quarterback Erik Meyer opted to sign with San Jose on Friday.
More on Sanders below.
I'm covering a prep football game but wanted to pass along the news that Erik Meyer's run as Spokane Shock quarterback is over. The former EWU standout has signed with rival San Jose, the team that eliminated Spokane in last year's AFL playoffs.
Meyer's decision wasn't a surprise to Andy Olson, as his quotes in my article indicate. Olson's other thoughts on the matter will no doubt raise some eyebrows around the AFL, too.
The Spokane Shock and the Arena put an end to rumors that have been circulating for nine months about the team possibly relocating.
The Shock has a new three-year lease with the Arena. That should help Spokane with everything from season ticket sales to attracting free agents who don't have to worry about the AFL franchise moving to another city. The team is offering a three-year price lock on season tickets purchased for the 2015 season.
Back in January, the team was purchased by an ownership group led by Nader Naini, a businessman in western Washington, fueling speculation the Shock would leave Spokane after the 2014 season. Naini said at the time that he had no intention of moving the team and Wednesday's announcement reinforced that the Shock are staying put.
Spokane's Terrance Sanders, recently selected to the All-AFL first team as a kick returner, was named playmaker of the year at the league's awards ceremony Thursday night..
Spokane came into the playoffs on a roll, winners of five straight and playing its best football of the season.
None of that mattered to San Jose, which worked over the visitors from start to finish in a 55-28 playoff victory Saturday at the SAP Center. Spokane's 28 points equaled its single-game low in five AFL seasons (the Shock lost to Jacksonville 34-28 earlier this season).
Erik Meyer was intercepted three times in the first half. Spokane didn't crack the scoreboard until midway through the third quarter. By then, San Jose was on top 31-0 and coasting to the finish line.
Read the S-R game recap below.
The two best pass-rush teams in the AFL collide tonight in San Jose and the outcome of those battles up front will probably tell the tale of the Shock-SaberCats first-round playoff game.
Shock coach Andy Olson probably has a long list of worries when it comes to his team, but Mike Washington isn't one of them.
He knows the 5-foot-8 receiver is going to eat right, take care of his body, study film, practice hard and then study more film. But there's more to Washington than just the football player. He works just as hard on his mind and has a wide range of interests. More on Washington here.
Spokane closed the regular season with a 45-40 road win over Portland on Saturday. The Shock (11-7) won their fifth straight. They'll visit San Jose in the first round of the playoffs next Saturday at 7.
Quarterback Brian Zbydniewski tossed five touchdown passes. Both teams committed three turnovers but Spokane's Terrance Sanders scored on a 16-yard interception return.
Spokane (Erik Meyer) and Portland (Kyle Rowley) rested their starting quarterbacks with the playoffs coming up next week.
Spokane would like to keep its late-season roll going when it closes the regular season tonight at Portland.
The Shock are looking for their fifth straight win and want to avoid new entries to the injury list as they point to their Saturday, Aug. 2, playoff game against San Jose. .
More on Spokane-Portland here.
Spokane is trying to finish the regular season on a five-game winning streak, but it also wants to be healthy for the playoffs.
Read more here about Spokane's approach to the regular-season finale at Portland on Saturday.
Spokane won its fourth straight game, this one a hard-earned 55-52 victory over visiting Tampa Bay on Monday night.
Erik Meyer tossed five touchdown passes and added another rushing. Terrance Sanders scored on a kick return and interception return and the Shock defensive line pretty much took over the game in the fourth quarter.
My unedited game story is below.
Spokane ended a trend of nearly two seasons worth of fairly comfortable to absolute blowout wins (read: all by double figures) by edging Arizona 73-66 on Saturday. That made the victory big on two fronts: 1). It came against the best franchise and No. 1 ranked team in the AFL. 2). It came in a close contest. Those have been rare for the Shock, and most of the time the outcome hasn't been favorable.
The trend should have ended in the season's fifth game but Spokane gave up a Hail Mary touchdown pass on the final play to fall to Cleveland 52-50. Other than that, Spokane's other six losses this season were by at least 10 points. Four of Spokane's five losses last season were by less than 10 points, including the 65-57 playoff loss at Arizona that ended the Shock's season.
I took a look at the numbers to lead off this week's Shock notebook. There's also a few paragraphs on James Ruffin's breakout season.
Spokane trailed by 21 points in the first quarter and quarterback Erik Meyer was uncharacteristically wild early.
Somehow, the Shock dug out of the hole behind a play-making defense and Meyer, who warmed up to throw six touchdown passes and run for two more in a wild 73-66 victory over the Arizona Rattlers on Saturday night at the Arena.
Spokane improved to 9-7, 8-2 in games with Meyer as the starting quarterback. Arizona dropped to 14-2.
My unedited game story is below.
One of the AFL's best rivalries, if not thee best, resumes tonight at the Arena: Spokane vs. Arizona.
With a healthy Erik Meyer, there is a growing sense that the Shock could be rounding into form at the right time, but they could use some visual proof. They've been good, very good, at times this season but a win over the top-ranked Rattlers would mean a ton for the Shock's confidence coming down the home stretch.
Spokane is back on the practice field after last week's bye. We checked in with the Shock on the importance of Saturday's home game with Arizona, how players spent the bye week and updated the health of Adron Tennell and the status of Ryan Cave.
It's all in my weekly Shock notebook.
Spokane thumped L.A. 64-46 on Saturday to clinch a playoff berth. The Shock (8-7) advanced to the AFL playoffs for the fourth time in five years.
Erik Meyer tossed six touchdown passes, rushed for another and pounced on a Rory Nixon fumble in the end zone as the Shock swept the season series with the Kiss.
I went into the way-back machine yesterday for a profile on 2006 Shock coach Chris Siegfried. I left that door open for today's feature on Jimmy Williams, who had an interception last week in his first game action since 2007 with the Atlanta Falcons. Not sure I've run across a Shock player who has been out of football for such an extended period of time.
Williams talks about his short NFL career and what he's been doing the last 6-plus years here.
I caught up with Chris Siegfried, who coached Spokane to the 2006 arenafootball2 championship in the franchise's inaugural season, last week and the result was this Then & Now feature that ran in today's S-R.
He's moved on from coaching after a couple of rough patches in Pittsburgh and Jacksonville and is now selling real estate in Orlando. He misses arena football, but he feels the tradeoff has been more than worth it — more time with his wife and two kids.
It seemed like old times for the Spokane Shock.
Erik Meyer was back at quarterback, the defense continued its strong play and the end result was a 70-30 dismantling of San Antonio on Friday at the Arena.
Meyer was sidelined for five games with a broken collarbone before returning to play in the fourth quarter last week. Spokane is 6-2 with Meyer as the starter, 1-5 in games he didn't start.
My unedited game story is below.