The last time Spokane and Tulsa met, the Shock held on for an entertaining 51-44 victory last August in the af2 National Conference championship game.
Many of the players’ names have changed and both teams have moved into the Arena Football League, but they figure to stage another interesting contest at 8 tonight at the Arena.
Second-ranked Spokane (7-2) leads the league in total defense (264.9 yards) while the offense is second in scoring (67.1 points). No. 7 Tulsa (6-4) has an AFL-leading 17 sacks and an offense averaging 62.7 points. Quarterback Justin Allgood has an AFL-best 70 touchdown passes.
Tulsa defensive end Gabe Nyenhuis, who has spent time with four NFL teams, has five sacks and a league-leading six forced fumbles. Spokane’s Jerry Turner, Ben McCombs and Aaron Robbins have combined for 10.5 sacks. Despite missing a couple of early season games, defensive backs Travis Williams and Alex Teems each have three interceptions.
“Last year they were driven by their offense,” Shock coach Rob Keefe said, “but they added two franchise players (Nyenhuis and All-AFL linebacker Steve Watson) to complement their offense.”
Backup quarterback Erik Meyer (illness) has been placed on injured reserve. Brian Zbydniewski, who filled in last week, will be the No. 2 quarterback for the next four weeks. “We’re not quite sure what it is,” Keefe said. “I don’t think it’s that serious, but it’s serious enough that he’ll miss this week and next.” … Jeremy Geathers has been activated from I-R and will serve as the fourth defensive linemen. Receiver Emery Sammons is expected to see his first game action with the Shock. Harrison Nikolao will start at center in place of Brandon Leyritz.