At the outset of the Arena Football League season, it would have been logical to assume ex-Shock quarterback Kyle Rowley would be at the helm for Orlando against Spokane tonight.
That won’t be the case. And Rowley’s replacement, Aaron Garcia, endured one of the worst nights of his distinguished career when he was intercepted five times by Paul Stephens in San Jose’s loss to the Shock three weeks ago.
Rowley, who led Spokane to arenafootball2 and AFL championships, was arrested last month on charges of driving under the influence and resisting arrest without violence, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Rowley, who is still on the roster, played in Orlando’s next game but endured a tough outing in an 82-42 loss to Arizona.
With the offense sputtering, Orlando acquired Garcia from San Jose. He guided the Predators (1-5) to their first win last week and will try to exact revenge on the Shock (5-2) tonight at 7 at the Arena.
“When you watch film there was more stability, the receivers looked more comfortable and Garcia trusted their guys,” Shock coach Andy Olson said. “No disrespect to the previous quarterbacks (Rowley and Chris Dixon), but you are 0-5 and need someone to come in and mix it up a little bit.”
Fifth-ranked Spokane, meanwhile, has dropped two straight and sits one game behind No. 1 Arizona in the West Division. The offense has slipped after a torrid first five games. The defense kept Spokane in last week’s game but the Shock failed to score on their last possession and lost to Utah 52-48. The week before, Spokane couldn’t stop Tampa Bay in a 70-62 setback.
“We need to get our confidence back, our attitude,” Olson said. “We kind of lost it the last two weeks. We’ve played inconsistent football. We need to be more efficient offensively.”
Orlando has proven receivers in T.T. Toliver, Prechae Rodriguez and Jason Geathers.
“This is a dangerous team,” Olson said. “They’ve lost to quality teams (Arizona, San Jose, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia). They all have winning records.”