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Sports >  Spokane Shock

Spokane Empire hope to keep rolling after statement win over Arizona Rattlers

Spokane’s Trevor Kennedy (18) celebrates scoring the Empire’s first touchdown of the night against the Colorado Crush during a IFL football game, Friday, April 14, 2017, in the Spokane Arena. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane’s Trevor Kennedy (18) celebrates scoring the Empire’s first touchdown of the night against the Colorado Crush during a IFL football game, Friday, April 14, 2017, in the Spokane Arena. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane Empire finally got their statement win.

“We hadn’t had, in my opinion,” a signature win this season,” Spokane head coach Adam Shackleford said. “We had six wins, but I still didn’t feel like we had the respect of the league based off who those wins were against.”

The Empire’s 60-51 dispatching of the Arizona Rattlers at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix was met with a degree of difficulty unseen from Spokane this season.

Not only was it Spokane first win against a team with a winning record, the Empire (6-2, 5-1) outscored the Rattlers 25-14 to withstand Arizona and its hostile road environment — the Rattlers average 12,501 fans at home games, far and away the most in the Indoor Football League.

It was Spokane’s second consecutive win. The Empire will try and keep it rolling against Salt Lake at the Arena on Sunday.

The Screaming Eagles (1-7, 1-6) haven’t experienced much success this season. In their third of four regular season matchups against Salt Lake this season, the Empire hope to continue to improve, despite the opponent’s poor record.

“We just want to try and bring everything together for the second half of the season,” defensive lineman JD Griggs said. “We can’t lose on the small things anymore. That’s our thing. We’re only losing because of us.”

Getting healthy

Injuries have plagued Spokane all season. Shackleford hopes those troubles are long in the past.

“We feel like our weapons are back in tact,” Shackleford said. “This is probably the healthiest we’ve been all season.”

Running back Trevor Kennedy is nearly 100 percent after undergoing knee surgery in the offseason. Wide receiver Samuel Charles and defensive lineman Harold Love III are also progressing well after minor injuries.

Fischer officially out for season

Center Kyle Fischer will undergo season-ending surgery to repair damage in his knee. He sustained a right-knee injury in a 53-36 win over Salt Lake in Week 6.

Transaction wire

Defensive back Qua Cox, a Jackson State product who’s spent time with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, was signed this week to replace Adrian James, who is in training camp with a Canadian Football League team. … Defensive lineman Junior Alexis was released.

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