Shock lose in Chicago
Spokane committed three turnovers and couldn’t slow down Chicago’s offense.
That combination helped Chicago roll to a 73-62 Arena Football League victory Sunday over the visiting Shock, whose three-game winning streak came to an end at Allstate Arena.
Spokane (6-5) dropped into last place in the West Division behind Utah (7-5) and slipped behind Chicago (7-4) and other National Conference teams in the playoff chase. Arizona (9-3) has a one-game edge over San Jose (8-4) in the West.
San Antonio (8-3) is one game in front of the Rush in the Central. The division champions and two wildcards qualify for the playoffs.
“We didn’t play very sound from start to finish,” coach Andy Olson said in a postgame radio interview. “Defensively we played pretty good in the first half. In the second half, offensively we played well other than the one interception, but defensively we kept breaking coverages.
“I’ll give them credit, but we did so many things wrong.”
The Shock scored on their first possession and appeared to do the same on their second series but a penalty wiped out Adron Tennell’s touchdown reception. The infraction proved costly as receiver Steven Black was stripped of the football and ex-Shock linebacker Kelvin Morris recovered.
Chicago overcame third-and-30 when Russ Michna found Terrance Turner open for a 36-yard touchdown pass and a 17-6 lead. Spokane played catch-up the rest of the way.
Kyle Rowley threw the first of his two interceptions late in the second quarter as the Rush led 31-20 at halftime.
Spokane pulled within four points on five occasions in the second half, the last when Rowley connected with Brandon Thompkins to trim Chicago’s lead to 59-55 early in the fourth quarter.
Michna, who was 32 of 38 for 412 yards and nine touchdowns, hit Jared Perry for a touchdown and Rowley was picked off on the ensuing possession.
“We still know we’re a good team,” Olson said. “It’s the mental mistakes that have been killing us all season long. We really thought we had that under control.”
Rowley passed for 402 yards and eight touchdowns, four to Thompkins and two to Black. Terrance Sanders had 214 return yards, including his fourth kick return for a touchdown this season.
Spokane begins a two-game home stand against Kansas City on Saturday.