This is the point of the season at which Spokane is usually fighting for playoff seeding and the right to host postseason games.
This season, Spokane is fighting to finish with a winning record. The Shock (8-8), eliminated from Arena Football League playoff contention a week ago, want to win their last two games, beginning tonight at Kansas City, to eclipse last year’s 9-9 regular-season mark. The 2011 Shock made the playoffs but lost to Arizona to finish 9-10.
“We still have pride and we want to finish strong,” said defensive back Terrance Sanders, who is returning from a wrist injury.
Spokane beat Kansas City 70-46 earlier this season.
“A lot of people have asked me if I’m going to play all my bench players,” head coach Andy Olson said. “No, I want to finish 10-8. We’re always looking toward next year. We’ve been evaluating (players) all season. It’s a constant evaluation.”
Quarterback Kyle Rowley, who missed practice Tuesday, has been cleared to play. Linebacker Terence Moore, injured in a collision with teammate Patrick Stoudamire at practice, won’t play. Charles Ealy will replace Moore. Offensive lineman Shannon Tevaga and receiver Steven Black are out, likely to be replaced by Andrew Roxas and Damarlo Belcher.
Kansas City (3-13) shares the worst record in the AFL with Orlando. The Command are eighth in scoring defense (52.6 points) but last in scoring offense (39.7) and passing offense (219.4 yards). Spokane is fifth in scoring at 59.4 points despite leading the AFL in interceptions with 32. Rowley has been picked off nine times in the last two games.
“We’ve been forcing things,” Olson said. “We need to slow down and see the field a little better and take what comes to us.”