The Massachusetts Pirates sailed into the Spokane Arena and pillaged the Shock for three quarters before stormy seas moved in and impacted the bearing of the game.
After a 3 hour and 50 minute battle, the Pirates bested the undermanned Shock 63-57 in double overtime Saturday night.
A brewing storm outside of the arena resulted in the blue and orange field being blanketed in total darkness with 1:11 left in the third quarter.
The power outage delayed the game for 22 minutes as the arena went completely black while fans started to cheer and turn on their phone flashlights.
A weakened Shock (6-4) were starting Marcus McDade – their third quarterback of the season – and running back Davonte Sapp-Lynch was also sidelined with an undisclosed injury.
After the two teams traded field goals early, the Pirates (8-3) returned a fumble for a touchdown and followed that with an interception they returned to the Spokane 7-yard line.
Massachusetts scored on that drive to take a 17-3 lead.
At the start of the Shock’s fourth drive, McDade was benched for a series, replaced by Cedric Poole – a defensive back by trade. But that experiment didn’t last long, as Poole couldn’t sustain the drive.
McDade orchestrated Spokane’s first touchdown on the next drive as Troy Evans caught a McDade pass over the middle, broke a tackle and galloped into the end zone for an 18-yard score.
On Massachusetts’ next drive, a miscue on the Pirates’ snap sailed the ball over the head of the quarterback Alejandro Bennifield. He scrambled toward his own end zone, gathered the ball and heaved it 40 yards downfield, where a Shock defender broke toward the ball and snared it, returning it to the Pirates’ 5.
Spokane was only able to turn that into three points, getting stuffed on three straight plays.
The Pirates responded with a touchdown on a back corner fade from 25 yards out, extending the lead 31-13.
Spokane tried to go into the break with some momentum as the offensive line opened up a massive hole on the left side and McDade scampered and dove for a 17-yard score right before the 1-minute warning.
But Massachusetts challenged the call on the field and the run was changed to a 15-yard gain, down at the 2.
Two plays later, the Shock scored on a pitch.
Massachusetts drove down the field and with 5.3 seconds left, Bennifield scrambled to his left and threw across his body for another Pirates touchdown for a 38-20 lead at the half.
The Pirates received the ball first after intermission and made a field goal.
On Spokane’s next drive, McDade ran the scramble drill to perfection, first backing toward his end zone, then to his left before stepping up and firing a 14-yard strike to Troy Evans on fourth down.
Edgar Allen Poe, one of the new faces on the Shock, stepped in at quarterback and led a scoring drive, finishing it off with a passing touchdown to Evans – his third of the game.
Spokane’s next drive was led by McDade, who went back under center and with under a minute to play pitched it to Keyvan Rudd on his left for a touchdown.
The quarterback followed that up with a 2-point conversion to pull the Shock within eight, 50-42.
The ensuing onside kick had to be taken twice as Spokane earned a penalty on the first. They grabbed the resulting onside kick for a chance to tie the score.
Spokane drove the length of the field with 58 seconds left to pull within two as McDade took the read option to his right and into the end zone.
On the 2-point try, McDade pitched behind Rudd and the loose ball turned into a botched conversion.
But on the kickoff, Sawyer Petre kicked a deuce to send the game to overtime.
Massachusetts scored a TD on its first possession in the extra period before Spokane responded with a TD of its own as McDade slung a touchdown to Evans.
In the second overtime, McDade lost a fumble on a snap. The Pirates capped the victory with a Bennifield touchdown run.
Next week, the Shock are back on the road as they head to Frisco, Texas, to play the Fighters. Spokane lost to Frisco 36-33 in the first game of the season.
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