Meyer's Return to Starting Lineup Lifts Shock to Big Win Over Sa - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Meyer's Return to Starting Lineup Lifts Shock to Big Win Over San Antonio

Erik Meyer led the Spokane Shock back to their winning ways vs, the Talons on Friday night. Erik Meyer led the Spokane Shock back to their winning ways vs, the Talons on Friday night.
SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Spokane Shock needed a catalyst to help them return to winning form if they wanted a shot at taking the No. 3 seed in the AFL playoffs. Erik Meyer was that man. Meyer returned to the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in front of 8,489 fans for his first start since breaking his collarbone on May 4th vs. the Los Angeles KISS and led the Shock to a 70-30 victory over the San Antonio Talons on Friday, June 20.

The Shock (7-7) opened up the game with a  28-0 lead thanks to Meyer finding Rashaad Carter for a five yard  touchdown pass on Spokane's first possession, and two Meyer rushing TDs that bookended Terence Moore's pick-six score. 

The Talons (1-13) didn't reach paydirt until early in the second quarter when Shane Boyd found offensive lineman Moqut Ruffins for a seven-yard touchdown pass.

After the Meyer connected with Mike Washington twice to put the Shock in the redzone, Rory Nixon rumbled in from three yards out to put the Shock up 35-7 with 6:24 left in the second quarter. 

Mobile/App users can use this link to watch highlights and analysis of tonight's game:

San Antonio responded with a rare drive and score of their own, with Mykel Benson carrying it in from the eight yardline, giving the Shock only 1:00 minute before halftime and the lead cut to 35-14. 

The Shock excited the crowd one more time before hitting the concession stands thanks to a Meyer finding Carter for their second TD, this time from 19 yards with only 8 seconds left in the first half, giving Spokane a 42-14 lead at the break. 

The second half repeated much of the same story line. Terrance Sanders returned the opening kickoff to the San Antonio seven, and after a false start, Meyer hit offensive lineman Mark Jackson on a screen pass for a 12-yard score.

The Talons scored a just under five minutes later on a screen pass of their own, this one a 37-yard TD from Boyd to Benson to cut the Shock lead to 49-21. 

Then something special happened. Meyer and the offense took over after the Shock defense forced another turnover on downs, and the former Eastern Eagle gave the Spokane Arena another reason to celebrate. Spokane's signal caller found a hole in the coverage and took off for an eight-yard TD run, his 16th of the season, which was good enough to break the Shock single-season rushing touchdown record and give his team a 56-21 lead.

Meyer finished 16-23 passing for 171 yards with 6 total touchdowns (3 passing and 3 rushing). 

"He's the MVP of the AFL," Shock head coach Andy Olson said. "He's the best guy out there in my opinion. Having a guy like that out there gives everybody confidence. He led us up and down the field. He did a great job. Erik [Meyer] is irreplaceable"San Antonio would go on to add another score. But so would backup QB Brian Zbydniewski and Spokane when he found Nicheren Flowers as he made a 13-yard sliding catch in the endzone to extend the Shock lead yet again. 

Moore would score a second defensive TD late in the fourth quarter on a fumble recovery and give the game it's final touchdown, bringing his total to two on the same night he was featured on the official game program. But it was Moore giving praise to his defensive line after the game.

"One thing I've noticed is when the defensive line is getting pressure, it makes things a lot easier on the back end," Moore said. "They did a great job getting pressure and not letting the quarterback get comfortable and it was easy for us to make plays when the d-line was playing that great."

After the game Olson spoke highly of his entire defensive unit.

"We love this defense," Olson said. "We still think we have a long way to go back there and we can be much better than we are. But the defense plays hungry and I think that's something that is hard to coach am I'm just happy they're playing that way."

The Shock return to action next Saturday, June 28, when they visit the L.A. KISS at the Honda Center at 7:00 p.m. PDT. Meyer, Moore and the Shock believe they'll be ready.

"We take the good things and carry them over into next week," Moore said. "But we also have to look at the bad things we did in this game. It wasn't a perfect game, and our goal every game is to try and be perfect."

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: QB Erik Meyer (Spokane)

Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: LB Terence Moore (Spokane)

J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: DB Terrance Sanders (Spokane)

Cutters Catch of the Game: OL Mark Jackson’s (Spokane) one-handed catch on a screen pass for a touchdown in the third quarter.

AFL Highlight of the Game: QB Erik Meyer’s (Spokane) rushing touchdown in the third quarter to break the franchise single-season rushing touchdown record.
  • Spokane Empire

    • 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.

    • Rattlers run past Empire to claim Intense Conference crown

      Spokane, Wash. – The Arizona Rattlers (10-4) have clinched home field advantage in the Intense Conference championship with a win over the Spokane Empire (8-6) by a score of 33-16 at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, Washington.

    • 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..

    • Empire look to get back to winning ways against Crush

      The Spokane Empire (7-4,6-2) will try and end their two-game losing streak when they take on the Colorado Crush (6-4,3-1) on Thursday. This will be the third time these two teams have played this season, with the Empire outscoring the Crush 106-61 in their previous two matchups. The Spokane Empire are coming off a 62-32 loss to the Sioux Falls Storm and a 49-35 loss to the Arizona Rattlers.  This is the first time the Empire have back-to-back losses since the end of the 2016 reg...

    • Empire fall short against Arizona 49-35

      The Arizona Rattlers (7-4, 4-1) defeated the Spokane Empire (7-4, 6-2) in Week 13 of the 2017 IFL regular season at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena by a score of 49-35.

    • Empire and Rattlers battle for Intense Conference supremacy

      The Spokane Empire (7-3, 6-1) and the Arizona Rattlers (6-4, 3-1) will play each other tomorrow at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena for first place in the Indoor Football League's Intense Conference. This is the second time these two teams have played each other this season, with the Empire coming out victorious 60-51 on April 22nd. During their last matchup, the Empire's Charles Dowdell threw for 204 yards and six touchdowns in route to Spokane's victory. The Rattlers entered the...