SAN JOSE -– The San Jose SaberCats (2-2) fell to the visiting Spokane Shock (2-1), 73-62, at the SAP Center on Friday Night in front of 7,215 fans. Reigning AFL MVP Erik Meyer had a huge night on the road for Spokane, finishing with 258 yards and four touchdowns through the air while adding 31 yards and four scores on the ground.
Russ Michna, after missing the last two games for the SaberCats, returned to the field to post eight touchdown passes in the loss.
Spokane started off with the ball as Meyer quickly connected with wide receiver Mike Washington to get the Shock off to an early 7-0 lead.
On San Jose’s first offensive possession, Michna was intercepted by Shock linebacker Terence Moore on a fourth down attempt. With a short field, Meyer hooked up with wide receiver Rashaad Carter from 15-yards for another Shock touchdown, increasing their lead to 14-0.
Michna bounced back on the next possession and found familiar target, wide receiver Reggie Gray from 15-yards out for a San Jose touchdown, trimming Spokane’s lead to seven. SaberCats defensive lineman Jason Stewart ended the first quarter with a sack of Meyer, his first of two on the night.
Opening up the second quarter, Meyer reached the end zone on a one-yard sneak to put Spokane up 21-7. On their next possession, wide receiver Jason Willis fumbled and Shock defensive lineman Diyral Briggs picked it up and returned it for a score, increasing their lead to 28-7.
The SaberCats would respond, as Michna connected on a 38-yard laser to wide receiver Rod Harper, shortening the Shock’s lead by seven.
Shortly after, Meyer found a hole in San Jose’s defense and ran for an 11-yard touchdown, putting Spokane back up 35-14.
Michna found Harper once again, as he took an eight-yard reception and dove into the end zone for another San Jose score. Meyer wouldn’t let up, as he came right back with his third quarterback keeper of the night, increasing the Shock lead to 42-21.
After a long 36-yard pass completion to Harper, Michna found Gray with a 9-yard pass completion for the touchdown, trimming Spokane’s lead back to 42-28.
The SaberCats defense would come up big, as defensive lineman Jason Stewart forced a fumble and fellow defensive lineman Terrance Carter was quick on the recovery. Taking advantage of the short field, Michna found Gray in the back of end zone for seven-yard touchdown, shrinking the Shock lead back to seven. Battling to keep their lead, Spokane defensive back Terrance Sanders ran the next kickoff back 55-yards for the touchdown, giving the Shock a halftime lead of 49-35
San Jose possessed the ball to open the second half, but Michna was hit and picked off by Moore for his second interception of the game. Trying to earn a quick three points, Spokane kicker Taylor Rowan attempted a field goal but it rang off the bar. With the short field once again, Michna connected with Gray for a touchdown for the fourth time, bring San Jose back within seven points.
On Spokane’s next possession, Meyer found Washington again, this time from 41-yards to give the Shock the 56-42 lead after three quarters of play.
The SaberCats were looking to spark a fourth quarter comeback, but Sanders picked Michna’s first pass of the quarter. Shortly after, Meyer took a one-yard dive into the end zone, increasing the Spokane lead to 63-42.
Not giving up yet, Michna found Gray in the end zone for Gray’s fifth touchdown of the contest, bringing the SaberCats within 14 points.
Spokane would drive down the field and convert on a field goal, but San Jose would answer back with rushing touchdown from full back JJ Payne.
With the SaberCats on the comeback trail, Meyer connected with Washington for the third time, putting Spokane up 73-56. With 27 seconds left, Michna found Willis, bringing San Jose within 11.
After a failed onside kick attempt, the Shock would run out the clock, finishing the road win by a score of 73-62.
San Jose SaberCats media services provided this report