SAN JOSE, Calif. – So much for Spokane’s momentum entering the playoffs.
San Jose dominated the Shock on both sides of the ball and cruised to a 55-28 victory Saturday at the SAP Center. Spokane, which trailed by as many as 38, scored two touchdowns in the last 4:30 to reach 28 points, equaling its single-game low in five seasons in the Arena Football League.
The Shock, who closed the regular season on a five-game winning streak, finished 11-8. Second-seeded San Jose (14-5) moves on to face the winner of today’s game between No. 1 Arizona and No. 4 Portland.
The Shock failed to score in the first half. They were stopped on downs twice and quarterback Erik Meyer was intercepted three times.
Spokane’s first possession reached San Jose’s 1-yard line. After a Shock penalty, David Hyland picked off a Meyer pass. Spokane drove to San Jose’s 3 on its next possession but was turned away when Jason Stewart sacked Meyer on third and fourth down.
Meyer was sacked six times in the first half.
Spokane’s next two drives ended with interceptions by defensive back Ken Fontenette.
Quarterback Nathan Stanley threw four touchdown passes, two to Dominique Curry and one each to Reggie Gray and Ben Nelson, as the SaberCats built a 28-0 halftime lead. San Jose was driving in the closing seconds of the half but Gray fumbled as he attempted to call timeout and defensive back Terrance Sanders scooped up the football.
The SaberCats stretched their lead to 31-0 early in the third quarter. Spokane’s first touchdown came with 6:26 left in the third on a Meyer-to-Mike Washington connection, but the Shock turned the ball over on downs on their next possession.
Stanley finished 18 of 35 for 193 yards and five touchdowns. Stewart had four sacks and Fontenette added 11 tackles and two interceptions.
Meyer was 24 of 46 for 312 yards and four touchdowns. Washington had 108 yards receiving and two TDs. Spokane’s defensive front, which led the AFL with 40 sacks in the regular season, didn’t have a sack.
San Jose won three of four meetings against the Shock. The SaberCats, who won their first playoff game since 2008, sacked Shock quarterbacks 23 times in four games.