by Brad Wall
CHICAGO, Illi. – Spokane kept pace with the Rush for the majority of the game, but the Shock's three turnovers proved costly, giving them the loss 73-62 Sunday afternoon.
Chicago kicked a field goal on the opening drive and Spokane responded with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Rowley to Brandon Thompkins (missed extra point). Russ Michna hit Jared Perry for a five-yard score and after a Shock fumble, Michna connected with Terrance Turner on a 36-yarder to give the Rush a 17-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Spokane and Chicago exchanged touchdowns back and forth for the first four drives to open the second quarter. Adron Tennell scored on a 35-yarder from Rowley and Michna threw a 19-yard touchdown to Reggie Gray. Steven Black brought in an 18-yard score and the Rush answered with an 11-yarder by Turner. Rowley got picked off late in the second by Semaj Moody, but the Rush didn't capitalize, missing a field goal on the ensuing drive. Tennell caught a 29-yard pass as time expired and tried to extend the play with a lateral to Thompkins, but it was an illegal forward pass, sending the game into halftime with the score 31-20.
The Shock opened up the second half with a bang as Black caught a pass from Rowley on the first play and broke multiple tackles on the way to the end zone for a 41-yard score, the first of many in the third quarter. The teams exchanged four touchdowns in the third quarter, combining for 56 points. Spokane also had scores on catches of 16 and 24 by Thompkins and a 55-yard kick return touchdown by Terrance Sanders. Perry scored twice in the third for the Rush while Turner and Gray each had one in the quarter. Turner's came after a failed onside kick attempt by Spokane, making the score 59-48 with a quarter to play.
In the fourth, after 11-yard touchdown passes by both teams (Thompkins and Perry), Rowley was intercepted by Brian Lainhart and the Rush scored on a 2-yard rush by Luke Drone to widen the gap 73-55. Rod Harper caught an 8-yard touchdown with just over a minute to play to make it an 11 point game again. The Shock attempted an onside kick but couldn't recover it and Chicago ran the clock out to seal the victory for the Rush.
Rowley threw for 402 yards and eight touchdowns, but had those two critical interceptions. Tennell caught 10 passes for 153 yards and a score. Thompkins had four touchdowns on nine catches for 113 yards. Black also added seven grabs for 111 yards and two scores.
Michna was efficient on the day, completing 32 of 38 attempts for 412 yards and nine touchdown passes. Perry caught 11 balls for 131 yards and four touchdowns. Turner had nine receptions for 138 yards and three touchdowns. Gray had eight grabs for 91 yards and scored twice.
The Kansas City Command will head to Spokane to face the Shock June 9th with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m.