Spokane leaned into a few early punches and the Frisco Fighters knocked out the Shock (6-5) in the Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday.
The final 45-34 score in the Indoor Football League game was more friendly in appearance than in reality. Spokane has dropped three straight and four of six since starting the season 4-1.
The Fighters’ (9-2) defense was an issue all night as Shock quarterback Marcus McDade looked lost during a rough second start.
It didn’t help that the Frisco defensive line was spending a lot of time in the Spokane backfield, forcing McDade into quick reads and turned designed plays into scramble drills.
McDade had three interceptions midway through the second quarter, including a surprising read from the veteran QB.
A simple checkdown to his right was intercepted by newly signed Tre Harvey who returned it 8 yards for a touchdown.
McDade orchestrated a few drives that resulted in points for the Shock, but it was a frustrating performance overall.
McDade didn’t get any help from the ground attack, which finished with minus-25 yards.
Spokane has severely missed starting halfback Davonte Sapp-Lynch from the backfield.
The Shock have gained 9 yards on the ground combined the past two weeks.
To compound the difficulties with the run game, starting offensive lineman Jonah Austin was ejected after two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
Spokane finished with 10 penalties and four turnovers. Sloppy play has dominated the three-game skid.
After falling into a 13-0 hole, Spokane broke through when McDade found Keyvan Rudd in the middle of the field. Rudd made a move and carried two defenders as he extended over the goal line for his fourth touchdown with the Shock in four games.
Frisco answered with a touchdown on the next drive and forced McDade into a safety when the pass rush forced him onto the board in the back of the end zone.
Still, with the scored 22-7, the Shock had a chance to change the momentum when defensive back Mike Green stripped Marques Rodgers at the 2-yard line and Spokane recovered in the end zone for a touchback.
But Frisco’s defense slowed down the Shock and gave the ball back to its offense, which extended the lead to 29-7.
Spokane’s next drive gave Torrance Gibson his first touchdown of the season on a drag route.
But the Shock couldn’t hold the Fighters as they scored with 10 seconds left in the half as quarterback Malik Henry found Manny Arceneaux for a touchdown.
Henry – in his second start of his career – tossed his first touchdown pass of his career on the first offensive play of the game for Frisco to Arceneaux.
Henry, a former Florida State Seminole and Nevada Wolfpack quarterback, was on fire.
The former “Last Chance U” star on Netflix was seeing his reads, firing strikes to the wideouts and making the right decisions. It helped that his offensive line kept him clean for most of the game.
He finished with just less than 200 yards passing with three passing touchdowns and one rushing.
The Fighters’ second score came courtesy of a DeMarcus Felton 18-yard rushing touchdown for his 18th of the season.
The Fighters, who topped Spokane 36-33 on May 15 in the first game of the season, swept the season series.
Spokane finishes the regular season with a home game against the Arizona Rattlers on Friday with kickoff at 7:05 p.m.
The Rattlers defeated Spokane 56-35 on June 25 in Phoenix.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.