Shock Pound Blaze 80-41 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Shock Pound Blaze 80-41

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Andy Olson seethed with rage, hands outstretched and an explosive tirade directed at whatever referee was within shouting distance.

The Shock had a comfortable lead in hand and were well down the path to clinching a playoff spot, but Spokane had just fumbled away possession on a call the second-year head coach did not agree with.

After coughing up a big advantage in a loss earlier in the season, Olson has preached the sermon of no lead is safe. The Shock responded to their coach's demand to play until the final whistle and never let the Utah Blaze taste a comeback in a 80-41 win at the Spokane Arena on Friday night.

"Eighty points is always a good night," Olson said. "We scored on every possession, even with [backup quarterback] Arvell [Nelson] in there. Offensively, we were phenomenal. Really all I can ever ask for is to score every possession -- we did that."

The win inches the Shock (10-4) closer to a wild-card berth into the playoffs.

The difference in the game was a second quarter that the Shock won 20-0 behind a sterling defensive effort. The quarter started off on the right foot when the driving Shock found the end zone on the second play, a two-yard rumble by Will Falakiseni.

The Shock gained separation for the first time on the night on the ensuing possession. Blaze quarterback Jason Boltus dropped into his own end zone on 3rd-and-10, but Diyral Briggs shed a block on his blindside and jarred the ball loose with a big hit.

Terence Moore jumped on the loose ball in the end zone for a Shock touchdown. Despite a missed extra point by Taylor Rowan -- one of three on the night by the kicker -- Spokane led 26-13.

The defensive surge continued throughout the rest of the quarter for the Shock, which also produced a turnover on downs and a Patrick Stoudamire interception.

"Honestly, it's the best defense I've been a part of -- period," said linebacker Terence Moore. "We have the athletes, we have the athletes with the intelligence, we have a great D-line that helps us out with pressure on the quarterback. Overall, a great defense."

The offense did its part, as it didn't commit a turnover. Quarterback Erik Meyer went 20-of-27 for 229 yards and four touchdowns through the air. He also scampered for a pair of scores. Falakiseni and Ryan Cave both accounted for touchdown runs, as well, bringing home a pair of scores for the offensive linemen.

"Great team effort, defense and offense," Moore said. "That's what we're supposed to do, that's what we're capable of."

The game got chippy in the second half, especially when an incensed Olson directed his ire toward the refs after receiver Brandon Thompkins was not ruled down after hitting the padded wall and let a Blaze player casually knock the ball out of his hands for a fumble.

"Things like that, when things don't go your way, being a great championship team and a mindset team, we going to the next play," Briggs said. "Try to make a better play or try to make another play."

But Spokane was able to keep its composure, and defensive pressure, and close the book on any hopes of a comeback behind a raucous crowd of 9,965.

"To me, personally, I feel that the crowd is very important," Briggs said. "It's like another player cheering you on, believing. With the crowd and guys being involved, it makes a huge difference, man."

The Shock enter their bye week on a high note, something Olson believes is extremely important with two weeks before a two-game trip back east to face Tampa and Jacksonville commences. Olson said the Shock need to win at least one of those contests, if not both.

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