SAN JOSE, Calif. – Nobody in the Arena Football League's 25-year history had done what Spokane Shock and former Brown football quarterback Kyle Rowley '01 did Saturday night. His 12 touchdown passes were an Arena Football League record.
The Shock, faced with missing the postseason for the first time in franchise history and winless within their division, ended both of those runs and kept their playoff hopes alive, beating the host SaberCats 90-63 in AFL action.
"One of the wildest, craziest, ugliest, weirdest games you'll ever see," a television broadcaster remarked.
Rowley and Jeffery Soloman hooked up on a 45-yard TD play late in the fourth quarter as Rowley set an AFL record with 12 touchdown passes as the Shock avenged a 69-35 loss on March 30 to the SaberCats (9-6).
"They played extremely well against us (last time)," Shock coach Andy Olson said earlier in the week. "We didn't have Kyle then. We didn't have a couple of these key components that we have with us now."
Rowley was 30 for 37 with 392 yards and one interception in the record-setting performance.
Shock receiver Adron Tennell finished with 13 receptions and 164 yards, catching five of Rowley's TD passes.
Rod Harper wasn't far behind Tennell with four TD receptions. Soloman hauled in a pair, while Steven Black also caught one for Spokane (8-6).
Spokane was also busy on defense, picking off veteran SaberCats quarterback Mark Grieb twice and the Shock forced seven turnovers in the game.
The other five turnovers were on fumbles, each recovered by a different Shock player.
Grieb finished 25 for 40 with 356 yards and four TD passes.
Despite winning, Spokane allowed two San Jose touchdowns and missed a field goal with 15 seconds remaining in the game, failing to win by a 35-point (or greater) margin. That would have given Spokane the tiebreaker advantage, if necessary, against the SaberCats.
No AFL team has scored in the triple digits. Spokane's 90 points – a franchise record – were nine shy of tying the AFL record of 99 scored in a game.
At Brown, Rowley played behind James Perry '00, the Ivy League's all-time leading passer and Ivy League Player of the Year. He made the most of his senior season in 2001, leading the Bears to a 6-3 overall record and a 5-2 mark in Ivy play, and earning honorable mention All-Ivy honors. He ranked in top 10 in the school's single-season record book in total offense (7th, 2,324 yards), passing yards (6th, 2,328 yards, completions (7th, 188). He finished the season ranked ninth nationally in passing with 20.89 completions a game, and 19th in the nation in total offense with 258.4 yards per game. He passed for a school-record 474 yards, and registered a school-record 483 yards in total offense against then ninth-ranked Rhode Island in his second collegiate start.