SPOKANE -- The San Jose SaberCats (7-3) fell to the Spokane Shock (8-3) 75-45 in front of 9,138 fans at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday night. The loss ended the SaberCats’ five game winning streak, and was brought on largely in part by three first half turnovers. Quarterback Mitch Mustain, who came on in relief of Russ Michna, finished 14-of-25 for 173 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
The Shock opened the scoring immediately, scoring on their first play from scrimmage as quarterback Erik Meyer connected with wide receiver Brandon Thompkins on a 20-yard scoring toss to gain the early 7-0 advantage. San Jose responded quickly, as wide receiver Fred Williams found his way into the end zone on a two-yard run, marking his seventh consecutive game with a touchdown, and tied the game at seven. Meyer and Thompkins hooked up once again, this time from 34-yards giving the Shock a 14-7 lead.
Following a defensive stop, Spokane extended their lead to 21-7, with a one-yard touchdown run by Meyer to open the second quarter. The Shock’s defense came up with another big play, as defensive back Terrance Sanders wrestled the ball away from the SaberCats’ receiver and returned the interception 42-yards for the touchdown. The ensuing extra point was blocked by Francis Maka, and returned for two points by defensive back Clevan Thomas, bringing the score to 27-9. After San Jose’s second turnover of the half, the Shock capitalized with a three-yard scoring run by the league leader in touchdowns, Adron Tennell, pushing their advantage to 34-9. San Jose quarterback Russ Michna then scored on the ground from three yards out to trim the lead to 34-16, but after a failed onside kick, Tennell bulled his way in from a yard out to give Spokane a 41-16 halftime lead.
Mustain came on at the end of the second quarter, and continued on in the second half, but San Jose’s first drive came up empty, as they turned the ball over on downs. Spokane would score again, as Meyer tossed his third touchdown of the night, picking out a crossing Jeffrey Solomon for a nine-yard strike. The SaberCats found the end zone on a four-yard run by fullback TJ Watkins that was set up by a long return by defensive lineman Jabari Fletcher, who scooped up a loose ball off the bar and took it the Shock four yard line. Tennell scored his third rushing touchdown on the evening, bursting up the middle for a three-yard touchdown, pushing the lead to 55-23 late in the third quarter.
Mustain threw his second career touchdown pass on fourth down, as he picked out wide receiver Jason Willis for a 16-yard score, bringing San Jose closer, 55-29. Meyer responded with a seven-yard strike to Thompkins, their third scoring connection on the night and Spokane stretched its lead to 61-29 early in the fourth quarter. After another Shock score, Mustain threw his second touchdown pass of the game, again to Willis for a three-yard score, cutting the deficit to 68-37. After another Shock touchdown, Mustain found his favorite target, Willis once more, on a deep 36-yard touchdown pass. After the San Jose two point conversion, things finished up at 75-45.
Next week, the SaberCats return home to HP Pavilion in San Jose to host the Pittsburgh Power (3-7). The game can is on Saturday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. PT and is being broadcast on the radio by KNBR 1050.
Courtesy San Jose Sabercats media services