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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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No more Shock than this one

SHOCK

Justin Rummel - who? - connected with Kelvin Dickens on a 18-yard touchdown pass as time expired, giving Spokane a wild 66-63 win over Central Valley.

You can read my game story here. But I don't know if I did the crazy nature of this game justice.

Take Rummel for example. He was signed just over a week ago. He had yet to throw a game pass. He is a graduate of that well-known football power Earlham College, a Division III (think Whitworth without the football tradition) school in Indiana for heaven's sake. When you search for the school on Google, no link to the athletic department even comes up. I can't remember the last time that happened.

But he is also the guy who may have just saved the Shock's season. When Andrico Hines went out with a tweaked left hamstring - in the middle of what may have been his best game of his short Spokane career - the Shock faced what was obviously going to be a shootout without its top offensive threat.

So who would have thought the guy they brought off the bench would do better? There's no doubt Rummel's arm isn't in the same league with Hines' - on Rummel's first throw Dickens dropped an easy catch, looking like he expected the ball to get to his hands quicker - but his feet may be better and his decision-making just as good.

It was those feet that allowed Rummel to buy time often, moving around in the pocket just long enough for Dickens, Savage and Anthony Brown to come free. With the Shock offensive line - as a group it was much better this game - porous at times, being able to move enough to get the pass off is an important asset for Shock quarterbacks.

But not turning the ball over is more important. Rummel did have one, sort of, with the safety and almost made that play worse, trying a pass at the last second that squirted from his hand and found the end zone turf. Luckily for him the play had already been blown dead or CV would have had six points, not two. And Spokane won by three, remember?

The main reason the Shock won tonight wasn't even on the roster two weeks ago when Spokane lost at home to Bakersfield in an offensively inept - and scoreless - second half.

So give a big assist on this win to Spokane general manager Adam Nebeker. If he can find a game-winning relief pitcher from Earlham College, he may deserve to be the af2's general manager of the year.

And Rummel may just take the Fireman award.



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