The Spokane Shock can do this the easy way or the hard way. Or they could fail to do it at all.
Three of the Shock’s last five regular-season games – beginning with today’s matchup against Los Angeles – are against teams they’re battling for the final two National Conference playoff spots. Take care of business against those closest in the standings and Spokane is virtually assured of a postseason berth.
A win today at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, would give Spokane (4-9) a series sweep and a three-game edge over the Kiss (2-11).
“We understand we control our own destiny,” coach Andy Olson said. “We can easily be the third (seed) with a couple of wins. At the end of the season, records don’t matter (in the playoffs). We need to peak, win multiple games in a row to get some momentum if we want to have a prayer of beating anybody in the playoffs.”
Spokane, 3-0 all-time against L.A., won the first meeting 68-46 in May as Warren Smith tossed six touchdown passes in his first start. Quarterback Carson Coffman, who suffered a separated shoulder against San Jose on June 26, has been placed on injured reserve. Smith is listed as the starter.
L.A.’s record doesn’t add up considering its recent scores. The second-year franchise is the only team to beat San Jose (14-1) and nearly knocked off Philadelphia and Arizona prior to last week’s bye. The Kiss held four of their last five foes below 50 points.
“They’re not a bad team,” Shock nose guard Terrance Taylor said. “I said the same thing about Las Vegas (which beat Spokane 62-56). You go into this game thinking, ‘We’ve beaten them we’re going to beat them again,’ you’re going to come out with a loss.”
QB Danny Southwick, who started for Spokane in a Week 3 loss at Portland, has stepped in as L.A.’s starter for the injured Adrian McPherson.
“There’s some things we know (about Southwick) from his one week here,” Shock defensive lineman Derrick Summers said. “But pretty much it’s going to be totally different because they have a totally different offense.”
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