SAN JOSE, Calif. – Prior to Saturday night, the San Jose SaberCats hadn’t thrown an interception all season. They also hadn’t lost at home.
And nobody in the Arena Football League’s 25-year history had done what Spokane Shock quarterback Kyle Rowley did.
The Shock, faced with missing the postseason for the first time in franchise history and winless within their division, ended both of those runs and kept their playoff hopes alive, beating the host SaberCats 90-63 in AFL action.
“One of the wildest, craziest, ugliest, weirdest games you’ll ever see,” a television broadcaster remarked.
Rowley and Jeffery Soloman hooked up on a 45-yard TD play late in the fourth quarter as Rowley set an AFL record with 12 touchdown passes as the Shock avenged a 69-35 loss on March 30 to the SaberCats (9-6).
“They played extremely well against us (last time),” Shock coach Andy Olson said earlier in the week. “We didn’t have Kyle then. We didn’t have a couple of these key components that we have with us now.”
Rowley was 30 for 37 with 392 yards and one interception in the record-setting performance.
Shock receiver Adron Tennell finished with 13 receptions and 164 yards, catching five of Rowley’s TD passes.
Rod Harper wasn’t far behind Tennell with four TD receptions. Soloman hauled in a pair, while Steven Black also caught one for Spokane (8-6).
Spokane was also busy on defense, picking off veteran SaberCats quarterback Mark Grieb twice and the Shock forced seven turnovers in the game.
The other five turnovers were on fumbles, each recovered by a different Shock player.
Grieb finished 25 for 40 with 356 yards and four TD passes.
Despite winning, Spokane allowed two San Jose touchdowns and missed a field goal with 15 seconds remaining in the game, failing to win by a 35-point (or greater) margin. That would have given Spokane the tiebreaker advantage, if necessary, against the SaberCats.
No AFL team has scored in the triple digits. Spokane’s 90 points – a franchise record – were nine shy of tying the AFL record of 99 scored in a game.
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