By Tim Peterson
(Anaheim) – The KISS jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead and then had to hang on to survive a 34-28 win over Spokane Sunday before 7, 730 at Honda Center.
The Shock had the ball at the KISS 16 with last shot. On the final play of the game Arvell Nelson threw a pass to Nick Truesdell who tried to make the catch while falling over the wall with no time remaining. The pass was ruled incomplete, even though Truesdell came out with the ball. The play was reviewed after Spokane challenged but the call on the field stood and the KISS emerged with the win.
“The call was correct. The ball hit the seat when the kid went over the wall. It was a good challenge by them but it was the right call,” said KISS Head Coach Bob McMillen.
The Shock had a shot at the win when KISS’ kicker Andre Heidari’s 22 yard field goal attempt was blocked with 40 seconds remaining but the KISS held on.
“Maybe that’s my fault. We haven’t been in position where we’re up 28-0. But we need to learn how to finish games,” McMillen said. “We didn’t do that today.”
The KISS scored first. After a pass to Donovan “Captain” Morgan got the ball down to the one-yard line, Danny Southwick hit Tom Gilson for a three-yard touchdown to put the KISS on the board.
Josh Victorian intercepted a pass on the ensuing possession and the KISS took advantage when Southwick hits Morgan for 14 yards in the corner of the endzone for the score to make it 14-0. After the KISS defense made a stop Tyrone Goard comes up big hauling in an 18-yard pass from Southwick in the corner of the end zone and then disappearing over the wall. He then emerged holding the ball up high and the KISS was up three scores midway through the second quarter.
The KISS again thwarted the Shock inside the five-yard line and capitalized immediately when DeMarco Sampson is on the receiving end of an eight-yard Southwick TD strike with eight seconds left in the half for a 28-0 lead at the break.
Then the momentum shifted quickly.
The Shock scored on the first possession of the third quarter on an Avrell Nelson 17-yard touchdown pass to Nick Truesdell and then stopped the KISS on the next series to get the ball back. Spokane scored again on a forward pitch/pass that Jabin Sambrano caught and ran 22 yards for a touchdown. Suddenly the lead is cut in half at 28-14.
On the next possession, the KISS fumbled the ball inside the five-yard line and James Ruffin fell on it for the Shock in the endzone for a touchdown and it’s 28-21 at the end of three.
Miles Mason rumbled his way for a 15-yard TD run on the next series to put LA back up by 13 as the extra point is missed by Heidari.
Spokane refused to go away as Nelson scrambled for a 20 yard touchdown run to slice the lead to 34-28 and set up the final play dramatics.
The KISS, surprisingly still has a shot at the post season as they improved to 3-11 on the season.
“We just need to win out,” said KISS DB Rayshaun Kizer.
The Shock fell to 4-10.