Shock Lose on Final Play Off the Net vs. Cleveland - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Shock Lose on Final Play Off the Net vs. Cleveland

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This catch off the net ended Spokane's night with a loss to Cleveland. This catch off the net ended Spokane's night with a loss to Cleveland.
SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Cleveland Gladiators defeated the Spokane Shock, 52-50, on a last ditch effort off of the net with no time left to remain undefeated on the season at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday, April 19. 

The Gladiators (5-0) got on the board first with a 40-yard field goal from Aaron Pettrey, but the lead was short-lived thanks to Erik Meyer's 3-yard sweep around the left side for the Shock (3-2) touchdown with 7:30 left in the first quarter. 

Cleveland would respond with a Shane Austin TD pass to Tyrone Collins on 9-yard slant over the middle to give the Gladiators their second lead of the game, 10-7. 

Terrance Sanders gave Spokane great field position on its own 15 with a 21 yard return from deep in the endzone. Meyer hit Brandon Thompkins for a 14-yard first down pass and then found Hank Edwards for a 12-yard gainer that put the Shock in the redzone. A few plays later Meyer ran in his second score of the night, plunging in from the one yardline to give Spokane the 14-10 lead with only 39 seconds left in the first quarter.

After Sanders intercepted Austin right behind the goal line the Shock went on the score again. Meyer hit Thompkins short over the middle and the former Arkansas State wideout took it for 25 yards. On the very next play Meyer found Adron Tennell for a 17-yard strike and put Spokane on the Cleveland 3 yardline. Meyer hit Thompkins for the short pass and the 21-10 lead with 7:51 left in the second quarter.

The Gladiators scored on a three-yard pass of their own, Austin hit Collins for their second connection to cut the Shock's lead to four, 21-17.

Meyer and company marched down field late in the second quarter and scored with 24.2 seconds left in the first half on a Meyer to Thompkins 22-yard strike to the corner. Spokane took a 28-17 lead into the locker rooms thanks to its defense shutting down the Gladiators and Pettrey missing a long field goal attempt. 

Things got shaky quick for the Shock.

On the second play from scrimmage in the second half Meyer's pass was intercepted by Cleveland's Joe Phinisee. The Gladiators would score only two plays later on a 7-yard TD pass from Austin to Dominick Goodman. Shock still held the lead, 28-23, after Pettrey missed the point after. 

Cleveland got the ball right back after Sanders fumbled the return at the 12 and scored right away. Austin hit Goodman for an 11-yard pass to the 1, Austin completed the QB sneak for the score on the next play to take a 29-28 lead over the Shock.

The Gladiators scored almost immediately. Meyer was intercepted again by Marrio Norman, he lateraled the ball to Phinisee, who returned it 24 yards for the TD and the 36-28 lead after Pettrey made the PAT. 

Spokane would finally stop the bleeding with 4:42 left in the third quarter. Sanders returned the kickoff to the 25 and then the Gladiators committed the pass interference penalty on Thompkins over the middle to quickly give the Shock a first down at the Cleveland 15. A few plays later Meyer hit Thompkins against the back padding for a five-yard TD pass, the duo's third one of the game. Rowan's point after cut the Gladiators lead to one, 36-35. 

After Cleveland earned three first downs thanks to two completions to Goodman and a Shock penalty, Terence Moore intercepted Austin's pass on the one to give the Shock the ball back and end the threat. 

Spokane took over at its own three yardline. The Shock offense hit their groove and Meyer found Thompkins thrice and Tennell on the sideline bring the ball to the Gladiators' 10, but the former Walter Payton award winner couldn't get rid of the ball on fourth down and was sacked at the 15 to give possession back to Cleveland with 8:20 left in the game.

Austin made the Shock pay, hitting Thyron Lewis on a 28-yard TD pass to the corner padding of the endzone. Pettrey's made PAT gave the Gladiators a 43-35 lead with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter.

Sanders gave the Shock good field possesion again, this time returning the kickoff to the Spokane 16. Meyer found Adron Tennell down the right sideline for a 31-yard pass to the 3. Then Thompkins hauled in his fourth TD pass of the game from Meyer, the Shock went for two and Meyer hit Thompkins to tie the game at 43 with XX left! 

A long return set up the Gladiators inside the Spokane 20 yardline. On for Cleveland came backup QB Chris Dieker who scrambled his way to a first down on fourth and short from the Shock seven. After a series of turnovers and huge Shock hits on the Gladiators new quarterback, Cleveland round up facing fourth and long. Pettrey came on and nailed a 30-yard field goal to give the Gladiators a 46-43 lead with 43.2 seconds left. 

Spokane set up for a miracle drive. Meyer hit a couple of passes to put the Shock in position for the tie, but then Cleveland killed itself with a roughing the passer penalty and Spokane the ball at the Gladiators' nine. Meyer hit Edwards on the slant over the middle, Rowan drilled the point after threw the uprights and the Shock took a 50-46 lead with only 10 seconds left in the game.

Dieker lofted the ball off of the net and Lewis dove for the carom and hauled it in to give the Gladiators a 52-50 win with no time left on the clock.

"We're 3-2 and we're the first in our division and we've got 13 more games to play," Shock head coach Andy Olson said after the game. "If I sit here and panic after two losses than I've got issues. So I'm not that worried about it. It's obviously a frustrating loss. It's something that I thought we should have easily won, but we didn't. So I've got to face the facts and we've got to get better."

Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: WR Brandon Thompkins (Spokane)

Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: LB Joe Phinisee (Cleveland)

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

Cutters Catch of the Game: WR Brandon Thompkins (Spokane) fourth quarter catch while being hit

AFL Highlight of the Game: WR Adron Tennell (Spokane) catch and run down the sideline in the fourth quarter

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