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Shock Smack Sharks

Updated:

The Jacksonville Sharks defense is as good as they come in arena football.

That's what the statistics say, at least.

The Shock offense made easy work of the Sharks on Saturday night, out-gunning Jacksonville in a 76-41 win at the Spokane Arena.

The Sharks entered the game allowing just 44.9 points per game, lowest in the league. The Shock topped that in the first half, leading 49-14 at the break.

"We talk all the time about setting the tone," said Shock head coach Andy Olson. "Getting a stop on the first drive, scoring on the first drive is so vital to winning football game. Two of our three losses we didn't score on the first drive of the game. It's so important to get out there and set the tone for each half. It's really important and we did that on both sides of the ball."

It was a stellar defensive effort that allowed the Shock offense to pick apart the Sharks defense. Spokane came away with five first-half turnovers, including a 39-yard interception return for a touchdown by Terrance Sanders at the end of the first quarter.

"Defense was out of their minds again," Olson said.

"I think it's just, the secondary," Shock defensive coordinator Travis Crusenberry said. "They're starting to really believe in the coverages, starting to gel in the secondary."

The defense was also able to negate the Shock lone turnover. Jamaal Fudge intercepted an Erik Meyer pass with 3:35 left in the second quarter. Three plays later, Shark quarterback Bernard Morris lost the football trying to escape pressure and Beau Bell scooped it up.

The Shock finished the game with six turnovers -- three interceptions, two fourth-down stops and a fumble recovery. Sanders led the way with a pair of interceptions. He returned both for touchdowns, but the second was called back for a penalty during the return.

"A turnover is so huge because it's an offensive game," Sanders said. "Any time we can get one or two with the offense we have and put them in great position, it's going to be tough for anybody to beat us."

Morris left the game during the third quarter after appearing to injure his left ankle. D.J. Archer replaced him.

Shock linebacker Terence Moore was ejected in the fourth quarter for a blow to the head. The league will review the play before making a decision if Moore will be suspended for next week.

The Shock travel to face Arizona next week. The Rattlers lone loss on the season came to the Shock.

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