The Spokane Shock didn’t waste any time putting an end to the longest losing streak in franchise history.
The defense made four first-half stops and quarterback Kyle Rowley put his name at the top of a couple of career records as Spokane cruised to a 61-34 Arena Football League victory in front of 9,172 Friday at the Arena.
The Shock, who lost just 13 games in their first five seasons, dropped three straight to open the 2011 season, but they had no problem with the Command.
Spokane scored on its first play from scrimmage – a 30-yard strike from Rowley to Shaun Kauleinamoku – and on all six of its first-half possessions. Rowley, who needed four touchdown passes and 143 passing yards to surpass Nick Davila as the Shock career leader in both categories, reached both milestones by half. Rowley tossed five touchdowns to four different receivers, the last an 11-yard floater to Raul Vijil that gave Spokane a 38-12 lead with 12.8 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Kansas City quickly moved to Spokane’s 16-yard line, but receiver Bret Smith was hauled down at the 2 on the last play of the half.
The Command (0-3) were within 17-12 after quarterback J.J. Raterink’s 3-yard touchdown run, but the Shock scored three unanswered TDs to take control. Spokane’s defense twice stopped Kansas City on downs, including once when receiver Steven Savoy ran a three-yard pattern on fourth-and-4.
The Shock defense forced two turnovers in the third quarter. Raterink’s pass was batted by linebacker Micah King and hauled in by lineman Jon Williams. Ruschard Dodd-Masters stripped the football away from Smith. The Shock capitalized on the turnovers with nine points to take a 54-19 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Spokane, which has a bye next week, scored on its first 10 possessions before No. 2 quarterback Bill Stull’s first pass was intercepted by ex-Shock defensive back Sergio Gilliam with just over a minute to play. Rowley finished with 219 yards passing and seven touchdowns.