Stephens’ 5 picks help Shock move to 5-0
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Paul Stephens set an Arena Football League record with five interceptions and Erik Meyer tossed eight touchdown passes to lead Spokane past San Jose 69-47 Friday at HP Pavilion.
The top-ranked Shock (5-0) built a 28-point lead late in the third quarter en route to their fourth road win of the season. No. 5 San Jose dropped to 2-2.
“I just told these guys, ‘We’re just getting started,’ ” coach Andy Olson said in a postgame radio interview. “I truly think we’re scratching the surface of what we’re capable of doing.”
Stephens gave Spokane early momentum by intercepting an Aaron Garcia pass on the SaberCats’ first possession.
It was tied at 14 after one quarter but the Shock put up three touchdowns in the second to take command, 34-21, at halftime. Stephens’ second interception led to a Kamar Jorden touchdown reception.
With less than a minute remaining, Meyer scrambled for 14 yards on fourth-and-12 and he capped the drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Duane Brooks. Stephens’ third pick ended a San Jose threat in the closing seconds of the half.
“I did what I was coached to do,” Stephens said. “(Teammate) Terrance Sanders put a lot of words in my ears game after game and I took it in.”
Meyer connected with Jorden for a touchdown on the Shock’s first possession of the third quarter. Stephens snagged his fourth interception and returned it 26 yards for the score, boosting Spokane’s lead to 48-21.
Garcia rallied San Jose within 55-41 early in the fourth quarter. Meyer found Adron Tennell for a 6-yard touchdown to restore a 21-point advantage.
Stephens made his fifth interception in the closing seconds. The previous record was four held by three players, the last Portland’s Mark Ricks in 1999. Stephens appeared to have another interception, but San Jose challenged and the call was overturned.
Tennell finished with three touchdown receptions, his 10th consecutive game dating back to last season with at least two TD catches. He also ran for one touchdown. Jorden added three touchdown catches and Brooks and Jackie Chambers each had one TD.
Meyer completed 26 of 37 for 242 yards. In five games, he has 40 TD passes and zero interceptions. Garcia has been picked off 13 times in four games.