The LA Lynx might consider changing their name to the “Bakers,” because they sure seem to produce a lot “turnovers”. That was the talk among Cox Arena faithful as the Shockwave forced eight Lynx turnovers (out of 11 possessions) on their way to a 77 – 6 victory and a three game season sweep of their neighbors to the north. The 77 points is a franchise record.
The festive, music-reveling Cinco de Mayo crowd of 3,013 witnessed four defensive scores with running back Tyrone Evans adding four short touchdown runs of his own as the Shockwave continued their domination of LA. In all, eight Shockwave players got into the scoring column; four on offense, four on defense.
The game was never really in doubt. Shockwave led 14 – 0 after one quarter. It quickly ballooned to 42 – 6 at the half, (also a franchise high), thanks in large part to a 21 point scoring flurry in the final minute of the 2nd quarter. By then, the two visiting high schools marching bands performing at halftime were tempted to play taps.
The Lynx’s lone score came when Jason Brehm scored on a 2-yard run early in the second quarter.
Los Angeles missed the two-point conversion, making the score 14 – 6. The only other good news of the night for the now 0 – 4 Lynx was that the three game season series with the Shockwave has mercifully concluded. On the season, the Shockwave outscored the Lynx a staggering 194 – 21.
Similar to last week’s 61 – 6 Shockwave victory in LA, when the halftime score was 41 – 6; the halftime score was 42 – 6 tonight. And like last week, Shockwave starting quarterback Roman Ybarra had a strong first half, finishing with two touchdown passes. Equally identical to last week, Matt Pound played the second half, finishing with one touchdown pass.
The Shockwave receiving corps, wide receivers Chris Pittman, Deondre Alexander and Nakoa McElrath each caught a touchdown. The most dramatic catch of the night was Ybarra’s 45-yard rainbow to McElrath at 1:20 of the second quarter. McElrath caught the ball in full stride along the right sideline before slamming into and flipping over the end zone dasherboard. “A spectacular, highlight reel catch,” said winning head Coach Bob Bees. “It rivaled the catch (Chris) Pittman made against
Beaumont a few weeks ago.”
On the other hand the Lynx were anything but spectacular, gaining an anemic 30 yards of total offense on the night. The Shockwave had a respectable 224 yards of total offense. Again, the Lynx fell apart on nearly every possession due in large part to
San Diego’s stifling defense. “They (LA) made a lot of adjustments coming in and went with a good power I running offense,” said Shockwave defensive coordinator Montra Edwards. “But we adjusted to it and played our usual relentless style of defense.”
Kicker John “Auto” Matich was perfect for the evening, converting all 11 PAT’s. Lineman Ricky Leungwai (3 sacks) and his mates again completely obliterated LA’s offensive line, harassing and sacking LA’s quarterback Michael Hamilton five times, forcing three fumbles and two interceptions. Leungwai also forced a first quarter fumble that teammate Andre Reed fell onto for a touchdown.
Still in the first half, DL Wallace Thomas got into the act, returning a fumble for a touchdown. And LB Rico Curtis, not wanting to be left out, alertly picked up one of his two fumble recoveries on the night, returning a loose ball for 10 yard touchdown run with just 2 seconds remaining in the first half. DB Shedrick Harris rounded out the scoring at 1:45 of the 4th quarter, intercepting and returning an errant
Hamilton pass 27 yards for a score. DB David Beverly had two interceptions.
“The return of veteran DB Emmanuel Bentley helped us on defense,” added Coach Edwards. “We missed his leadership which will be important as we march on toward our goal; a championship.”
The 5 – 1 first-place Shockwave have two tough road games the next two weeks, facing two undefeated opponents. On May 12th, the Shockwave visit the San Bernardino (Bucking Bulls) and on May 19th, to
Alameda (Tri-Valley Ranchers). “We still have a lot of work to do and we plan on getting better each week,” reminds Coach Edwards. “We’ve got some stiff competition the next two games against
San Bernardino and Tri-Valley. But our eyes are on the prize – an NIFL championship.”