Quick game story from Spokane's 70-62 loss to visiting Tampa Bay on Saturday.
Tags: Shock football, Tampa Bay
By Jim Meehan
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Spokane had scored at least two touchdowns in every quarter of its first five Arena Football League games this season. The Shock put up just one touchdown in the first half Saturday.
Quarterback Erik Meyer hadn’t thrown an interception in 190 attempts spanning five games. He was intercepted twice by Tampa Bay and the Shock dropped two passes in the end zone in the first half.
The Shock defense got beat deep for a touchdown with Tampa Bay facing third-and-22 from its 4-yard line.
It was that kind of night for top-ranked Spokane, which battled back in the second half but was knocked from the unbeaten ranks by No. 4 Tampa Bay, 70-62, in front of 9,872 at the Arena. The Shock (5-1) visit Utah on Saturday.
Neither of Meyer’s interceptions were bad throws. Duane Brooks juggled one pass and ended up booting the ball high into the air with his foot as he was falling. That gave defensive lineman Rodney Beamon time to make a diving catch. The other interception bounced off a dasherboard in the end zone into defensive back Chris Smith’s arms.
It didn’t help matters that Spokane was held on downs inside the Storm 5-yard line. On Spokane’s next series, offensive lineman Patrick Afif couldn’t haul in a low pass from Meyer in the end zone. On the ensuing play, Meyer was intercepted by Smith.
Tampa Bay scored to take a 28-7 lead with 6.8 seconds left in the second quarter. Terrance Sanders returned the kick to the Storm 15-yard line. Putting a conclusion to a frustrating half, Meyer zipped a pass to an open Kamar Jorden, who dropped it in the end zone.
Adron Tennell’s 1-yard touchdown run capped Spokane’s first possession of the third quarter. Following a Storm fumble, Jorden made a touchdown catch falling over the dasherboard, pulling the Shock within 28-21.
The teams traded touchdowns the rest of the way. Spokane tried four onside kicks, but Tampa Bay recovered each time.
Storm quarterback Adrian McPherson, whose running ability created problems for Spokane’s defense, rushed for three touchdowns and passed for seven TDs.
Meyer finished 21 of 35 for 258 yards and seven touchdowns.