Shock finishes season with another winPosted: Updated:
Shock 65 - Hawks 38
Final @ Everett
Although less then 500 miles separates Everett and Spokane, the Hawks and the Shock are heading in decidedly different directions. The Hawks, who were eliminated from playoff contention several weeks ago, have won four of their last six games including a win 45-43 victory over Tri-Cities last week.
But, for Head Coach Cedrick Walker spoiler is a role that his team seems to enjoy. "I know one thing, that's three wins in a row and nobody is going to the playoffs on us," Walker told the Tri-Cities Herald after they narrowly defeated the Fever.
Although short on wins, Walker's team is certainly not short of talent. Offensively, the Hawks are led by one of the most prolific passers in the game with QB Jason Campbell, who has thrown for 82 touchdowns this season. 63 of those touchdown passes have gone to WR Josh Richey (42) and WR Phillip Goodman (21).
Goodman has also made his presence known on the defensive side of the ball, as he is second on the team in interceptions, while DB Aaron Dunklin is first on the team with four. The defensive line of the Hawks is led by former Shock DL Chuck Jones. Jones, who is second on the team in sacks, is recognized by Shock Assistant Coach Alex Sirianni as one of their "top defensive players." "He gets a lot of pressure on the quarterback consistently and can force a QB into making a bad throw," Sirianni added.
The Shock, who clinched their division and the second seed in the American Conference, will be playing without any playoff implications but for pride, and that's enough for Head Coach Adam Shackleford. "We understand that this is a rivalry game, but we also understand that we have the playoffs just ahead," Shackleford said. "We will go over there with the intent to win, but we intend to stay healthy as well."
On Wednesday, Coach Shackleford announced that back-up QB Justin Rummell will start in Saturday's game. QB Andrico Hines, who has started 15 games this season, was hurt on the second play of the game last week in Amarillo as Rummell led the team to a 55-19 victory over the Dusters. "There is no QB controversy here," Shackleford said. "This game is very important to us but we need Andrico to be ready for the playoffs."
Hines will dress for the game but will only play if he is needed. In other injury-related news, Shackleford also announced that WR Antwone Savage will not play in this week's game. Savage was also injured early in the Amarillo game but will not suit up as a precautionary measure. Two-way player Anthony Brown will start in Savage's place along with WR Kelvin Dickens and Chico Mackey.
The newest member of the Shock, acquired late last week, Odell Willis will start in place of Brown on the defensive line. This will be Willis' first game action he has seen since becoming a member of the Shock.
Willis, who was a teammate of LB Kelvin Morris in college, has been compared to DL Devon Parks, the current team leader in sacks. "He has a real nose for the QB," Shackelford said. "He looks good in practice and I'm anxious to see him perform in an rivalry game like this one."