Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 39° Partly Cloudy

SportsLink

Shock notebook

Spokane’s Justin Warren lowers the boom on Tri-Cities QB Joe Ayoob in the first quarter. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane’s Justin Warren lowers the boom on Tri-Cities QB Joe Ayoob in the first quarter. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Back with a Shock notebook. Topics of the day include Andy Olson's knee, Adam Shackleford's review of the Tri-Cities game and the af2 schedule that has Spokane facing Boise, Tri-Cities and Stockton three times each for the second straight season.

Read on for the unedited version of an article that will run in Wednesday's S-R.

 

By Jim Meehan

Staff writer

Second-year receiver Andy Olson has never missed an arenafootball2 game with the Spokane Shock, but that’ll probably change Saturday.

Olson sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee late in Saturday’s 62-32 win over Tri-Cities and he’s expected to miss Saturday’s showdown with Boise. He has injured the MCL in the same knee twice before.

“It’s nowhere near as bad as the first time I did it in high school,” Olson said. “The season was over so I don’t know how long I was out. In college (at Western Washington) I was out about four weeks.”

Olson doesn’t anticipate being sidelined for long. He hasn’t ruled out playing against Stockton on April 25th.

Olson was injured while dragging a defender over the goal line on a 30-yard touchdown pass.

“I think my foot got stuck in the turf and he hit my knee inwards before my upper body hit the ground, which put all the pressure on my knee,” Olson said.

Patrick Bugg, who had 34 receptions last year, is expected to replace Olson in the lineup. Olson has been playing “wing” receiver. The wing receiver is usually in motion, “but our offense has evolved to where I can get the ball to whoever we need to and put whoever we need to in motion,” head coach Adam Shackleford said. “When this was a two-way game, the wing was your pure receiver that probably caught more balls than anyone else.”

Vijil, who played wing last season, will return to the position against Boise. Charles Dillon will move from “H” to “S” receiver. The H receiver is usually bigger and more physical. The 6-foot-5 Bugg and Kelvin Dickens manned the position a year ago. The S receiver tends to be used on shorter routes and has a knack for yards after the catch. Olson, who led Spokane with 112 receptions last season, played S in 2008.

Spokane is looking for a fourth receiver and could sign a player later in the week.

Three-peat

For the second straight season, Spokane will play West Division rivals Boise, Stockton and Tri-Cities three times each. Two of the Spokane-Boise meetings will take place in Boise. Third meetings were implemented when the Everett and Bakersfield franchises folded following the 2007 season, trimming a seven-team division to five.

“It cuts down on travel costs,” Shackleford said. “I’m really hoping we get a team back next year. It gets a little stale (playing same opponent three times), but it beats flying to Florida twice or Manchester, New Hampshire.”

There is some discussion that Kent, Wash., could be on af2’s radar.

Upon further review

After watching the videotape, Shackleford had few complaints from Saturday’s easy win.

“We definitely made some mistakes, but we scored on every drive,” he said. “Our pass protection was very good and overall (quarterback) Nick (Davila) played very well. Our receivers are starting to work together and our fullback play (with Harrison Nikolao) has been outstanding.”

The defense yielded just four touchdowns and two field goals.

“We didn’t let down this game,” Shackleford said. “We played very hard against Stockton, but we gave up an easy one or two at the end. I felt like we played the full 60 minutes, capped by Sergio Gilliam’s interception at the end.”

Notes

Backup quarterback Casey Hansen handled Spokane’s final series against Tri-Cities and had his first touchdown pass – a 1-yarder to Lee Foliaki. “He’s a very good rookie prospect,” Shackleford said of the 6-5 Hansen. … A week after falling one point shy of 60 points – and free chalupas for everyone in attendance – the Shock surpassed 60 with 21.6 seconds remaining. “I know I was going to get booed because if they didn’t call timeouts (in the final minute) we were going to run the clock out,” Shackleford said. “Love me or hate me, I’m going to choose class over chalupas every time.” … Shackleford reiterated that he thought the officials blew a call that resulted in a fumble recovery for a Shock touchdown on an incomplete shovel pass. “I feel bad for (Tri-Cities) coach (Richard) Davis, but I don’t think it was the difference in the game. It was certainly a difference in the first half,” Shackleford said.

 




Jim Meehan
Jim Meehan joined The Spokesman-Review in 1990. Jim is currently a reporter for the Sports Desk and covers Gonzaga University basketball, Spokane Empire football, college volleyball and golf.

Follow Jim online:






Looking for a Grip on Sports?

Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.