PHILADELPHIA – As if the odds weren’t stacked enough for the Shock against the 13-3 Philadelphia Soul, there’s this. The last time they’d met Spokane pulled off an 18-point shocker back in May.
Philly hadn’t lost since, while the Shock had gone just 3-3 and were eliminated from playoff contention Saturday when San Jose beat New Orleans.
It didn’t keep the Shock (8-8) from giving the Soul a battle to the end, which in this case meant a 62-48 loss.
“We gave ourselves a chance at the end, but we just got beat tonight,” Shock coach Andy Olson said.
“But my guys are great. They played with pride.
“Even though we’d been eliminated I told them to treat this as a job. No one gave up.”
But a combination of fullback Derrick Ross (83 yards and three touchdowns rushing, 27 yards and two more receiving), Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh (16 for 22 for 179 yards and five scores) and three turnovers were simply too much to overcome.
Olson attributed some of that to quarterback Kyle Rowley getting his bell rung in the second period, fearing he may have suffered a concussion. Olson wasn’t certain of the status for the remaining two games for Rowley, who finished 29 for 48 for 325 yards and seven TDs.
Philadelphia scored on its first seven possessions extending into the third quarter, 9 of 12 overall, and overcame a 21-14 first quarter deficit to systematically take command.
“Last time we came out a little more hyped up,” recalled Spokane’s Adron Tennell, who caught 13 passes for 147 yards and four touchdowns. “Tonight it took us awhile to get going.”
Still, the Shock trailed just 55-48 on Tennell’s fourth TD catch with 3:02 left. They appeared to get the ball right back by recovering an onside kick, only to have an unidentified player ruled offsides and handing Philly the ball deep in Spokane territory.
Two plays later Ross barged into the end zone from 2 yards out to ice it.
“We were prepared,” Olson said, “but we couldn’t adjust to Ross and their running game.
“He’s just so physical. I think they have a good chance to get to the Arena Bowl, but the West is bit stronger than their conference.”
As for the Shock, they don’t intend to merely play out the string.
“We still have two games left and they’re important,” Tennell said. “We still have a lot of pride.”