Shock will host ArenaCup Championship
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Shock beat the Amarillo Dusters 79-49 Saturday to win the 2008 af2 National Conference Championship at the Spokane Arena. For the second time in three years, the Spokane Shock will play for the af2's grand prize, the ArenaCup.
As the top seed in the playoffs, the Shock earned the right to host the game on Spokane Tribe Field at the Spokane Arena on Monday August 25th with a 7 p.m. kick-off. The Shock will face off against the American Conference Champion, Tennessee Valley Vipers.
"We were so focused on Amarillo that I haven't studied them (Tennessee) yet," Head Coach Adam Shackleford said. "I'll get the film tonight and start breaking it down tomorrow morning. But, I do know this, they are very athletic. That's what I have heard about them and they have a lot of good experience. You don't get this far if you're not a good football team."
After jumping out to a 44-28 halftime lead over the Dusters, the Shock's offense continued to pour on the points scoring their second-highest total in franchise history. Last week against the Central Valley Coyotes, the Shock scored their highest total to date (83).
The receiving corps for Spokane had some big plays early on in the game, including a 26-yard TD catch by WR Patrick Bugg that earned the Cutter's Catch of the game.
"Those guys (offensive players) are explosive," LB Lee Foliaki explained. "Each and every day I tell those guys that I'm proud to be on the team with them. When they get the ball, they score."
Though the Shock's offense was responsible for getting the points on the board, it was the efforts of the Shock's defense that limited the Dusters scoring opportunities.
"I thought our defense was outstanding tonight against the Amarillo offense," said Shackleford. "We got a lot of pressure on Julian (Reese) tonight and our D line was able to tip the ball when it was up in the air. And Foliaki just had a couple of really athletic plays. All of our guys played tough tonight."
The Shock's defense created five turnovers, with Dusters QB Julian Reese throwing four interceptions into the hands of Shock players, LB Lee Foliaki (2), DB RoShawn Marshall, and DB Sergio Gilliam. The fifth turnover came in the form of a fumble that was recovered by Foliaki, who was voted both Defensive Player and Ironman of the Game.
With 19 games under his belt this 2008 season, Shackleford still had a few offensive tricks up his sleeve that kept the Dusters on their toes for all four quarters. And, according to Shackleford, there are still more tricks up his sleeve.
"We still have lots of plays that we haven't run yet. Our guys retain information very well. We can add stuff and add stuff and still keep our old stuff too. Our guys have proven that this is really important to them. We had about 130 plays going into the game tonight," he said, "and we ran all of them during practice and there were no mistakes in 130 plays. That means that our guys are studying on and off the field."
JLS Ironman of the Game:
SPOKANE - Lee Foliaki
ADT Defensive Player of the Game:
SPOKANE - Lee Foliaki
Schutts Offensive Player of the Game:
SPOKANE - Andy Olson
Cutter's Catch of the Game:
SPOKANE - Patrick Bugg
2008 ArenaCup tickets go on sale at noon on Monday.