Against one of the worst defenses in the Indoor Football League, the Spokane Shock didn’t need their primary ball carrier.
With Davonte Sapp-Lynch away from the team to attend his sister’s wedding, the Shock offense proceeded to have its most productive outing in a 42-24 win over the winless Northern Arizona Wranglers on Saturday in Prescott Valley, Arizona.
Former Texas A&M receiver Speedy Noil showed he could carry the football, too, rushing for two touchdowns – including a 34-yard scamper on the third play of the game – in place of Sapp-Lynch.
“He did a good job filling in today,” Spokane Shock head coach Billy Back said. “He was a nice little spark tonight. Troy Evans Jr. had a helluva game as well.”
Evans , who typically plays receiver, added two rushing touchdowns, helping the Shock hold off the Wranglers, who are giving up an average of 51 points a game.
But the Wranglers, an IFL expansion team, made it interesting late.
Northern Arizona receiver Keyvan Rudd’s third touchdown reception of the game cut the Shock’s lead to 29-24 in the fourth quarter, the Lilac City visitors swiftly closed the door.
A Noil touchdown run and Charles McCullum touchdown pass to Kamrin Solomon near the 2-minute mark put the Wranglers away for good.
McCullum also had a rushing touchdown for the Shock, who got another stellar performance from their defense.
After yielding an average of just 31 points a game in its first two outings, the Shock led the Wranglers 15-3 at halftime. Markus Smith had an early interception to help set the tone.
Back believed the offense, which has been inconsistent early this season, was hindered by several penalties and multiple personal foul calls.
“We have to fix that, and we’re going to have some motivational correctness to fix it. Make some adjustments,” Back said.
Sawyer Petre had two field goals for the Shock, who face the Sioux Falls Storm (2-1) on the road next week.