JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Spokane’s defense came up with four interceptions, including Beau Bell’s pick with 10 seconds remaining that preserved the Shock’s 56-48 win over Jacksonville on Saturday at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
The Shock evened their Arena Football League record at 3-3 with their second straight win. Jacksonville dropped to 2-4.
“We should have won this game by 30 (points), there’s no reason we were that close,” Shock coach Andy Olson said in a postgame radio interview. “We’ll look at the film and look to get better for Utah.”
Spokane built leads of 21 points in each half, but the Sharks pulled within 49-48 with 4:27 left on Omar Jacobs’ touchdown pass to Jamarko Simmons.
The Shock, stopped on their previous series for the only time in the game, took over at Jacksonville’s 18 when Steven Black recovered an onside kick. Spokane was potentially facing fourth-and-12, but Jacksonville was flagged for a late hit on quarterback Kyle Rowley.
On the ensuing play, Rowley zipped his sixth and final touchdown pass, a 10-yarder to Brandon Thompkins. Kenny Spencer’s PAT – he finished 8 of 8 – gave Spokane a 56-48 lead with 1:10 left.
Jacksonville drove inside Spokane’s 15-yard line, but Jacobs overthrew his receiver and the ball bounced off the goal-post bar into the hands of linebacker Bell.
Terrance Sanders, playing in front of 15 family members, had two interceptions. Freddie Harris, filling in for injured linebacker Terence Moore, had an interception return for a touchdown in the first half, helping Spokane jump out to a 28-7 lead.
“Two (interceptions) and should have had three,” Sanders said. “That’s a monumental win in terms of momentum and how we fought. It says a lot about our team.”
Rowley threw just one incompletion in the first half as Spokane scored on all four possessions. He finished 20 of 26 for 218 yards. He added one rushing touchdown.
Jacksonville played keep-away for much of the second half with lengthy scoring drives and a successful onside kick. Spokane’s only unsuccessful series came early in the fourth quarter after taking over at Jacksonville’s 10. The Sharks held on downs.
“It felt like we weren’t on the field for the whole (third) quarter,” Rowley said. “We were pretty efficient other than the one series.”
Thompkins and Adron Tennell both had two touchdown receptions.
Jacobs tossed seven TD passes, three to Terrance Smith.