Stifling Defense Leads Shock To 75-45 Win Over San Jose - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Stifling Defense Leads Shock To 75-45 Win Over San Jose


SPOKANE, Wash. -- There is something about San Jose quarterbacks that make the Spokane Shock defense turn up the pressure.

The Shock shut down Sabercats starter Russ Michna in the first half and backup play caller Mitch Mustain in the second en route to a 75-45 throttling at the Spokane Arena on Saturday night. The win puts the Shock (8-3) ahead of San Jose (7-3) for second place in the West much to the delight of the 9,138 in attendance.

"I'm a tell you this, man: As a defense as a whole, we knew what we had to do," linebacker Beau Bell said. "We had to come out here and do our jobs. Get to the quarterback, play great defense in the back end, get your hands on the ball, and that's what we did tonight. Great team defense tonight."

Spokane intercepted former Sabercats quarterback Aaron Garcia five times in a win in San Jose on April 19, after which San Jose traded the veteran.

The results will not likely be as dramatic this time around, but a 12 for 21 half that included an interception and only 16 points for Michna won't win the Sabercat any awards. To add injury to insult, Michna exited the game just before halftime and was being tested for a concussion. He did not return.

So the Shock turned their attention toward Mustain, who didn't fare much better, going 14 for 25 with three touchdowns -- all of which came after the game was decided -- and an interception.

"It was tremendous," said Shock head coach Andy Olson about the defensive effort. "Not easy to do against a team that's been close to perfect the last five games on offense."

Terrance Sanders provided the first defensive highlight of the night, taking an interception 42 yards for a score. Former Washington State receiver Jeffrey Solomon followed by recovering his own forced fumble on the ensuing possession.

The turnover led to the first of three rushing touchdowns by Adron Tennell, which established a new single-game Shock record.

Solomon added another interception before halftime. He also had a touchdown reception and a team-leading 10 tackles to round out his night.

The Shock got the mojo working from the opening kickoff. Sanders returned the ball 30 yards to start the game and Brandon Thompkins had a 20-yard touchdown catch on the first play from scrimmage to grab the early momentum.

After the Sabercats matched the touchdown with a scoring drive of their own to tie the game, 7-7, the Shock pulled away. Spokane led 41-16 at the half and didn't allow the Sabercats to score in the second half until there was 4:02 left in the third quarter.

"Looking at that clock at one point in the third quarter, I seen 16 points and I was like, 'Man,'" Sanders said. "I kind of got proud of what we done. Then they put a little bit more points on, but I would say this year, that's probably the best we played all together all season."

  • Spokane Empire

    • Spokane Empire RB Trevor Kennedy thanks Spokane for their support

      On Wednesday, the Spokane Empire announced that they will cease operations and not play football in 2018. This news came as a surprise to many players, including running back Trevor Kennedy, who said he was appreciative for all the support Spokane has given the Empire.

    • Spokane Empire to cease operations and will not play football in 2018

      The Spokane Empire have announced that they will cease operations and will not be be playing football in the 2018 season. The Empire's franchise began as the Spokane Shock in the summer of 2005 as a part of the af2 league. During their time in the af2, the Shock won the league championship in 2006 and 2009, while also making the playoffs every year in the league (2006-2009).

    • Spokane native Brett Rypien nominated for Allstate AFCA Good Works Team

      Spokane native Brett Rypien was one of 146 student-athletes nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, the American Football Coaches Association announced on Monday. The former Shadle Park Highlander and current Boise State Broncos quarterback has made a name for himself on the field.

    • Two Spokane Empire defensive players named to All-IFL team

      Spokane, Washington – The Indoor Football League announced the All-IFL First and Second Team honors for the 2017 regular season. Two Empire players were selected. Both Empire players selected were members of the Empire defense that proved dominate throughout the 2017 season.

    • Spokane Empire prepare for biggest game of season

      The Spokane Empire (8-7, 7-4) will travel to Salt Lake on Friday to take on the Screaming Eagles (4-11, 3-8) and wrap up the 2017 regular season. This is a must-win game for the Empire if they want to make the Intense Conference playoffs.

    • Empire fall short against Barnstormers 58-28; suffering 3rd straight road loss

      Spokane Empire SPOKANE, WA - The Spokane Empire (8-7, 7-4) were defeated by the Iowa Barnstormers (13-2, 8-2)  in Week 17 of the 2017 IFL regular season at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA by a score of 58-28. It only took three snaps for the Barnstormers to score, as quarterback Travis Partridge connected with Brady Roland to quickly go up 7-0. Spokane signal caller Aaron Wilmer took over and though having success running the ball himself, he could not connect with a pass t...

    • Empire have sights set on playoffs against Barnstormers

      The Spokane Empire (8-6, 7-4) will travel to Des Moines on Friday to take on the Iowa Barnstormers (12-2, 8-2), with their sights set on the playoffs. This will be the Empire's second-to-last game before they finish up the regular season against the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles on June 16th.

    • Spokane Empire in danger of missing playoffs

      The Spokane Empire (8-6, 7-4) are in danger of missing the playoffs after they fell to the Arizona Rattlers (10-4, 7-1) on Saturday, 33-16. With only two games remaining in the regular season, the Empire could miss the playoffs after appearing in the 2016 United Bowl.

    • Empire will host the Rattlers for final home game of season

      The Spokane Empire (8-5, 7-3) will play their final home game of the season against the Arizona Rattlers (9-4, 6-1) on Saturday. The Empire snapped a three-game losing streak last week when they beat the Colorado Crush.

    • Empire drop 3rd straight game against Crush

      The Spokane Empire (7-5, 6-3) dropped their third straight game when they lost to the Colorado Crush (3-9, 2-8) on Thursday. Turnovers were the demise for the Empire, as quarterback Charles Dowdell threw..