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Sports >  Spokane Shock

Shock look for first win

Spokane head coach Andy Olson has an interesting take on the Shock’s 0-3 record. “We’re really trying to focus on ourselves,” Olson said. “We feel like we’ve lost every game. We don’t feel like we’ve been beaten.” The Shock are winless no matter how you slice it, but a healthier roster provides an opportunity to start digging out of an early season hole, beginning with Saturday night’s Arena Football League matchup against Orlando (3-1) at the Arena. Spokane welcomes back starting quarterback Carson Coffman and backup Warren Smith from knee injuries. Coffman went down with an MCL injury in the second quarter of the season opener nearly a month ago. Three other quarterbacks have taken snaps but the offense has been plagued by inconsistency and a league-high 11 turnovers (six interceptions, five fumbles). Last week’s bye helped Coffman’s healing process. “This is the date I told coach Olson I thought I’d be back when I was initially injured,” Coffman said. “It sure was (a long bye week after losing at Portland on April 16). We know we need to start winning and I think we will.” Ex-Shock player and coach Rob Keefe directs the Predators, whose three wins have come against teams with a combined 1-11 record. Orlando dropped its season opener to unbeaten Philadelphia 70-63. Randy Hippeard is No. 1 among AFL quarterbacks with a 136.1 pass-efficiency rating. He’s tossed 19 touchdown passes and just one interception. Former Shock receiver Brandon Thompkins leads a balanced unit with 21 catches. Thompkins is second in the league in all-purpose yardage at 204.7 per game. He’s returned one kick and one missed field goal for touchdowns. “They’re putting up a lot of points,” Olson said. “They’ve got weapons everywhere.” Orlando allows 53.5 points, ninth in the 12-team AFL. Spokane is 10th at 53.7. Coffman was a backup quarterback in Utah when Keefe served as the team’s defensive coordinator. Orlando’s defense includes several former Shock players, including Jeremy Geathers, Paul Stephens and Terence Moore. “I went against (Keefe’s defense) on the scout team every day so I know what he likes to do,” Coffman said. “He really likes to mix it up and keep the quarterback confused. I don’t think we’ll have a problem.”
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