COMMAND COME UP SHORT AGAINST SHOCK

Kansas City loses final home game of regular season to Spokane

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Command quarterback Matt Gutierrez threw for 239 yards, four touchdowns and rushed for another to give Kansas City (3-14) their first lead of the game with 6:43 left in the fourth quarter.  A thrilling finish would unfold as the Spokane Shock (9-8) etched one final touchdown with 12 seconds left in the game.  The subsequent two-point conversion gave the Shock a one-point lead, 49-48.  A missed KC field goal attempt as time expired gave Spokane the victory in front of 3,764 fans Saturday night at Sprint Center.

“It’s never just one play, but that was a tough loss,” Command head coach Danton Barto said on the missed field goal to end the game.  “I’m proud of these guys.  They played their hearts out and battled their butts off tonight.”  The Sprint crowd tried to fuel the home team as well.  “The one thing I love about KC, we had a great turnout, a lot of kids, a lot of energy, and it was fun,” said Barto.

Though Kansas City didn’t earn a first down until 11:58 in the second quarter, Command QB Gutierrez settled in and connected with Samie Parker for his first touchdown in front the home crowd to keep the Command close, 14-7 at the 11:18 mark.  Spokane quarterback Kyle Rowley threw a quick touchdown to Rod Harper to go up 21-7, but on the ensuing kickoff Command special teams weapon Jackie Chambers broke free for a 38 yard kickoff return; giving KC their best starting field position of the game.  Command fullback Trey Bryant took advantage of a wide open left side of the field and rushed in for a quick 12 yard touchdown; once again bringing KC within one score, 21-14.

Spokane QB Rowley was in line for another touchdown to Jefferey Solomon when Command DB Sergio Gilliam forced a fumble, and KC QB Gutierrez converted the possession into points connecting with Parker for his second touchdown.

Spokane quarterback Kyle Rowley connected with Adron Tennell for his third touchdown in the first half with just 17 seconds left in the second quarter and headed into the locker room with a halftime lead of 28-21.  Rowley finished the game with 320 yards passing and seven touchdowns.

Command defense kept the pressure on Spokane, forcing a Shock turnover at the goal line on the first possession of the third quarter which Kansas City again converted into positive points with fullback Trey Bryant’s second rushing touchdown of the game, bringing his season total to six.

The fourth quarter provided a thrilling finish as Armand Robinson’s return from IR delivered two touchdown catches from Gutierrez and gave Kansas City their first lead of the game, 42-41 with 6:43 left in the fourth quarter.   When Spokane turned the ball over on downs and Gutierrez rushed for a touchdown, it looked as if KC would hold on to the win.  However, there was enough time on the clock and Shock QB Rowley connected with Jefferey Solomon for a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion gave Spokane a one point lead with just 12 seconds remaining in the game.  Kansas City would get one final opportunity, but a missed 47 yard field goal attempt as time expired gave the Shock the victory.

On his return from injured reserve, Robinson said “I’m just excited to be back.  I’ve never missed a game with an injury, and I was happy to be out there with my team.  The fact that the last time we played Spokane they beat us by almost 30, so the fact that we were that close (to winning), I was just proud to be a part of the game and of the guys.”

Chambers has recorded at least 100 kickoff return yards in each of the last six games; and his 116 kickoff return yards on Saturday brings his season total to 1,019; breaking the single-season franchise record of 983, set by Jerel Myers in 2008.  Command DB Rashad Barksdale also broke his own single-game record for tackles, notching 15 total tackles against Spokane.

Full Stats HERE

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