PORTLAND – Spokane got it half right, but that wasn’t enough to stop its losing streak.
The Shock coughed up a nine-point halftime lead with two costly turnovers early in the third quarter and Portland escaped with a 47-43 Arena Football League victory Thursday at the Moda Center in Portland.
This one had a familiar look as the Shock committed three turnovers and the offense struggled in the second half, spoiling another solid performance by the defense.
Spokane dropped to 0-3 for the first time since 2011. Portland, 0-3 against Spokane last season, is 2-1.
New Shock quarterback Danny Southwick was nearly perfect in the first half, completing his first nine passes as the Shock built a 29-20 lead. His first incompletion came with 35 seconds left in the second quarter.
Spokane’s lead didn’t last long in the second half. Southwick’s pass deflected off Rashaad Carter’s hands to Portland’s Bryce Peila, who returned it 46 yards for a touchdown. A botched center-quarterback exchange led to another Peila TD, this one a 3-yard fumble return, and the Thunder took a 34-29 lead.
Southwick and Carter connected on a pair of touchdowns as Spokane went in front 43-40 with 13:08 remaining.
Devon Dace intercepted former Spokane quarterback Kyle Rowley’s pass, giving the Shock a chance to extend their lead. They appeared to do just that when Carter juggled and caught a pass in the end zone. Portland challenged the call and officials ruled that the ball hit the ground before Carter had control, erasing a touchdown.
The Thunder scored the go-ahead touchdown on John Martinez’s 2-yard touchdown run with 48 seconds left.
Spokane, starting at its 4-yard yard line, moved to Portland’s 24, but Southwick was sacked by Marquis Jackson. Osagie Odiase intercepted Southwick’s third-down pass to seal the Thunder victory.
Southwick finished 21 of 32 for 291 yards. He had six touchdown passes and three interceptions. Carter had four touchdown receptions. Mike Washington had 128 yards on seven catches.
Portland’s offense managed just 33 points and 4.9 yards per snap against the Shock, who made three stops in the first half and another on Dace’s interception in the second half.
Rowley was 24 of 42 for 249 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Jamar Howard led the receivers with 11 catches for 112 yards and two TDs.
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