Meyer's Return to Starting Lineup Lifts Shock to Big Win Over Sa - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

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. 

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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.
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