Shock claim 2009 ArenaCup, 74-27, to finalize fantastic season
For the second time in four years, the Spokane Shock took home the ArenaCup Championship trophy Saturday night when they defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers by a resounding 47 points, 74-27. It was the largest margin of victory in an ArenaCup game and also the most points scored by a team in league history. This was the Shock's third ArenaCup appearance in four years, with their only loss coming last year to the Tennessee Valley Vipers.
Spokane took a quick and early lead over the Pioneers, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton didn't let the Shock remain comfortable, however, scoring a touchdown of their own one minute before the end of the first. The Pioneers tied the game up in the second in a dramatic fashion. After failing to score, the Shock attempted a field goal but it was blocked. DL ROYCE MORGAN picked up the loose ball and ran it into the end zone to tie the game at 14-14.
With the Shock ahead, 20-14 late in the second quarter, Pioneers QB RYAN VENA made three attempts to rush the ball in from the 1-yard line, each time being shut out by the Spokane defensive front. The Pioneers finally scored on fourth down to take their first lead of the game going into halftime, 21-20.
The Shock took the lead back in the third in what would be the beginning of an offensive firestorm. After jumping ahead 34-21 at the hands of Offensive Player of the Game WR RAUL VIJIL's back-to-back touchdowns, DB SERGIO GILLIAM made the Hit of the Game. Vena threw to WR IRVING CAMPBELL who made the catch near the 10-yard line. Gilliam hit him hard, knocking the ball out of his arms and into the air. DB STANLEY FRANKS caught the loose ball and ran the ball back 48 yards for their third score of the third quarter. That gave Spokane a 19-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter, 40-21.
The fourth quarter was Spokane's most productive as the Shock outscored the Pioneers 34-6. DB CHARLES DILLON scored in the final frame. His 21-yard scoring reception from QB NICK DAVILA gave the Shock a 54-21 lead. That lead was extended to 61-21 after Dillon scored on a fumble recovery in the end zone. Gilliam capped the Shock's championship scoring on a 37-yard interception return with 49 seconds to play.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Final
Spokane 14 6 20 34 74
W-B/SCRANTON 7 14 0 7 27
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: DAVILA, Nick (SPK)
JLS Ironman of the Game: VIJIL, Raul (SPK)
Aaron's Defensive Player of the Game: MCCULLOUGH, Kevin (SPK)
The Big Game Catch of the Game: VIJIL, Raul (SPK)
NiFTy Hit of the Game: GILLIAM, Sergio (SPK)