Saturday June 30th SD Shockwave vs. San Bernardino Bucking Bulls
Defensive back Kevin Burton guaranteed it. Coach Montra Edwards was impressed by it. And the San Diego Shockwave pulled it off, a very rare indoor football game shutout, defeating the San Bernardino Bucking Bulls56 – 0 in the regular season finale for both NIFL football teams. The game, played before 2,987 raucous fans at Cox Arena was significant, because it was the first shutout in San Diego indoor football history. Burton, who had two interceptions, one for a touchdown that was called back because of a penalty, has always confidently stated, “if they play me, the other team won’t score on me.” He was right. So were his teammates in scoring 56 points for the second time against the Bucking Bulls this season. The only difference: in the first game in San Bernardino, the Bulls scored 15 points.
For the second consecutive week, the Shockwave’s dominating defense had multiple stops in one game, in and of itself a not too common occurrence in the NIFL or indoor football in general. Defensive Coordinator Montra Edwards who wasn’t happy with his defense’s effort in last week’s 33 – 24 victory over the Tri-Valley Ranchers, was thoroughly pleased this week. Said Edwards, “after last week’s game we went back to the basics, the fundamentals, just as we did in camp. We worked hard tonight and I’m very proud of their effort.” The shutout, however, was in question late. With the game already decided and the Bulls driving, defensive back Shedrick Harris stepped up to recover a fumble at the Shockwave 3 yard line with 3:30 left in the 4th quarter preserving the shutout and punctuating the victory. “That was a big-time play,” added Edwards, about his defense’s play to force and recover the fumble. “They stepped up at critical points in the game and this was one of them.” Like the San Diego heat, Edwards’ defense was stifling, givingup only 55 yards of total offense. It broke down to 56 yards passing and a negative 1 yard rushing. Harris had another fumble recovery at the 9 minute mark of the third quarter, returning it 23 yards for the defense’s only touchdown of the game.
The Shockwave’s had balanced scoring all night, scoring 28 points in each half. The game was really never in question. After one of the defense’s many stops early in the game, Matt Pound connected with wide receiver Chris Pittman for the second consecutive week on a 25 yard pass opening scoring at the 10:43 mark of the first quarter. Ty Evans added three more first half touchdowns and John “Auto” Matich was perfect on PAT’s to seal the victory early.
Late in the third quarter, backup quarterback Ben Bowling came in and literally took it to the streets. To wide receiver A.J. Streets that is, connecting on two second half scores of 12 yards and 26 yards respectively. In fact, Bowling’s first pass as a Shockwave resulted in a score to Streets. Defensive lineman Andre Reed had two sacks and newly acquired defensive back Eric Bingham had some crushing hits to help lead the defense. But former Aztec Kevin Burton set the tone, making the most of his playing time. “KB (Kevin Burton) came up big tonight. He hasn’t had a lot of playing time this year, but he hung in there, kept working hard, never complained and always was ready – a true team player,” said Edwards. “He made some big plays for us tonight.” Now, the first-place, top-seeded Pacific Conference Shockwave await perhaps their most difficult opponent, the NIFL’s dysfunction and the many teams not relishing the opportunity to play them. “We match-up well against anyone and don’t care who we play in the playoffs. We’re shooting for the championship,” added Edwards.