June 20, 2009

Shock-Fever Game Log

End Game: In simple fashion, the Shock take care of business to remain undefeated with a 69-22 thrashing of the visiting Tri-Cities Fever. At 11-0, the Shock have all but assured themselves another week at the top of the rankings in the af2. Meanwhile, the Fever fall to 1-11. I'm not sure who they beat, but wow ... really? Regardless, the Shock remain the team to beat and prove it once again in an impressive way.

4th, 1:00 to go: Question: How many tackles can Vijil break before he gets into the end zone? The answer on the last play was three, which is nearly half the defense. It was a simple out route too ... rough night for the Fever. But the silver lining: Jackson missed the extra point. 69-22 Spokane.

4th, 2:10 to go: Kevin McCullough clearly doesn't play for Tri-Cities. Tell that to the Fever QB, though, who just threw it right to him. It'll go as an INT (amazingly, the first actual turnover by the offense) and the Shock will take over with just over two minutes remaining in the game.

4th, 4:29 to go: I'm sure I'll never see everything at an af2 game, but I can cross off a kickoff getting stuck in the net off my list. Nobody can get it out either ... that thing is going to be there for the duration of the contest. If you're a Fever fan, it's the most exciting thing you've seen tonight.

4th, 5:46 to go: Chalupa FEVER (get it!? ... sorry...) has just hit the Arena as Hansen hits Vijil again on a long pass for another touchdown, ensuring that the fans will go home with free food. I don't know if it's possible to literally throw in a white towel, but the defense figuratively threw in a hamper full of them when the game started. Not an impressive showing for the eight guys in white when the Shock have the ball. 63-22 Spokane.

4th, 7:22 to go: A painfully boring drive ended in a long field goal for Tri-Cities. Their kicker is solid from about 40 yards out. Not so much 20, but definitely 40. I don't get it. Anyway, Spokane is still large and in charge as they are seven minutes from 11-0. 56-22 Spokane.

4th, 13:19 to go: This new defense the Fever are trying out is not going well. It's where the defense lets a wide receiver run down the field by himself. It's like the Ams penalty kill against the Chiefs where they leave lanes open for Drayson Bowman to shoot through (see, I went there). The point is, it doesn't work. Unless you're Raul Vijil. Then it's OK. 56-19 Spokane.

For real End 3rd: Apparently in the af2, a quarter may not end on a penalty. The untimed down resulted in a touchdown for the Fever and the quarter also may not end without an extra point following a touchdown. Semantics. Whatever. This is turning into a game here, except for the fact that the contestant chosen to kick extra points during a timeout who failed three times is actually the kicker for Tri-Cities. 49-19 Spokane.

End 3rd: Not a good series for the Shock as they can't advance the ball past their own 10-yard line. Maybe ineptitude is contagious. I don't know. Either way, the Fever are eight yards away from making this a 30-point game as the third quarter comes to a close.

3rd, 3:01 to go: The Fever aren't messing around at all in the second half, as they score on their second straight possession. Heck, if they moved the ball like this earlier, they might only be down 20. As it stands, they're down 36 after a missed extra point. 49-13 Spokane.

3rd, 5:21 to go: Clearly, Tri-Cities' defense is on a bye week, as Hansen finds a wide open Olson in the end zone for an easy score. Spokane's offense has scored on all six possessions. The Fever have scored on one of about seven. As John Madden would say, that's the difference in the ballgame thus far. 49-7 Spokane.

3rd, 7:10 to go: Looks like Casey Hansen is taking over for the rest of the game for the Shock. Davila is fine, just a case of being bored on the playing field, so Hansen will get some reps in the second half. They are playing Tri-Cities though, so if Hansen makes it look too easy, maybe the other Hansen will get in. After he's done shooting the game though.

3rd, 10:19 to go: My bad. On fourth and three, Tri-Cities finally got into the end zone on a 27-yard touchdown pass. The scoreless streak ends with about 10 and a half minutes to go in the third. It was too good to be true. All good things come to an end some time. Random cliche here. 42-7 Spokane.

3rd, 13:23 to go: Halftime was a collective effort by everyone except me to not mention the "shutout" word around the Spokane Arena. It's been treated like a perfect game - a hush even fell over Spokane Tribe Field when a Fever WR had an open look at the end zone before being run down by The Joker. Tri-Cities is starting the second half with the ball, but have looked futile on their first couple plays.

End 2nd: The Shock just missed two gimme interceptions which would have secured a 40-something point halftime lead. Fortunately, the D stepped up and forced a 4 and out deep in their own territory and Spokane enters the break up 42-0. But hey ... the Fever will have possession coming out of the locker room. No, I'm not reaching for positives from their perspective...

2nd, 2:17 to go: Davila to that Markee White guy again for yet another TD. I'm out of jokes and it's not even halftime. It's gonna be a pretty boring second half reading this thing unless I find a way to pull the Ams into this. And I will. 42-0 Spokane.

2nd, 5:44 to go: The good news for the Fever - the first points are always the hardest to get. The bad news - they just missed a field goal, so they still don't have any.

2nd, 8:45 to go: Whoa! The Fever are in Shock territory! We might actually have a game on our hands! Thanks to the worst team in the league for spotting the best team in the league 35 points. I'm sure they needed it.

2nd, 11:11 to go: Kickoff recovered in the end zone by the Shock. I don't even know what else to write here. I think the referees are laughing at the Fever. Brian Jackson might have more extra points than Tri-Cities has yards on offense. 35-0 Spokane.

2nd, 11:21 to go: Ho-hum. Davila to White. As the scoreboard prepares to add one for the extra point, the stats to this point are silly. Spokane has roughly twice as many points as the Fever have total yards. Tri-Cities still has yet to get the ball onto the scoring side of midfield. I think Shock players are bringing pillows out on the field and it isn't even halftime yet. 28-0 Spokane.

2nd, 14:48 to go: Brian Jackson just did the Tri-City offense a favor and spared them the need to take the field for three useless minutes by kicking off and hitting the crossbar. The ball bounced back to midfield, where the boys in blue recovered to get the ball back.

End 1st: I don't quite understand why Tri-Cities has a team. None of them appear to be that good. All the decent players are probably on other squads. The Shock have regained possession, while the Fever have yet to be on the Spokane half of the field. It looks like if the New England Patriots were playing their practice squad or something. Davila just found his third different TD target of the first quarter as time expires, hitting Markee White for six. Looks as if the Fever made a huge mistake in deferring to the second half. They might be down 50 by then. 21-0 Spokane.

1st, 8:03 to go: This is gonna be ugly early. The Fever can't move the ball, going 4 and out on their first possession and giving the Shock the ball in Tri-Cities territory. Spokane moved the ball efficiently before Davila found lineman John Booker on a fake so good that it even deked last year's Fever squad. 14-0 Spokane.

1st, 13:17 to go: Turns out the reason Tri-Cities is 1-10 is that their defense is not good. I know much more about baseball and beauty pageants than the af2, but I think you're supposed to cover wide receivers. The Fever didn't get that memo, however, and on the second play from scrimmage, QB Nick Davila found Andy Olson in the end zone for a touchdown. I'm in the press box, but I was closer to Olson than the nearest Fever defender. 7-0 Spokane.

Kickoff is just moments away and if you're a Fever fan, the end of the game is just a few hours away. The End Zone Bandits chanted "Scoreboard" an hour before the game, so chances are, this game is over before it starts. But hey, as Herm Edwards would say, "You play to win the game." And Tri-Cities just won the toss. It's probably the last thing they'll win tonight, but hey, take your victories where you can get them.
In sports, you often see one-sided rivalries carry on for years, decades and sometimes centuries (Red Sox fans, including myself, bid a collective "Good Riddance" to the better part of the 20th century).

But it isn't often that an entire city trounces another in every sport. New York may have had the Yankees, but Boston had the Celtics. However, Spokane has the Shock, Chiefs and Indians and in recent years, the Fever, Americans and Dust Devils haven't had much success toppling the Lilac City on the turf, ice or diamond.

Tonight, the Shock look for their third win in three tries when they host the lowly Tri-Cities Fever in af2 action.

I'll be here at kickoff and throughout the game to cover what will most likely be another Spokane blowout as the undefeated Shock (10-0) meet the Fever (1-10) at 7 p.m.

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