AFL: Turnovers, miscues plague LA KISS. Spokane Shock win, 64-46.

It's a rock 'n roll party at L.A. KISS AFL football games at Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.
It’s a rock ‘n roll party at L.A. KISS AFL football games at Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.

ANAHEIM, CA – The expansion L.A. KISS have changed players, held an open tryout and tried everything you can to produce wins in their inaugural season but turnovers and miscues continue to plague Los Angeles.

That was the case in Saturday’s 64-46 loss to the Spokane Shock in front of more than 11,000 fans at Honda Center.

The game was close in the first quarter. Quarterback Aaron Garcia threw two touchdown passes in the frame. The first an 11 yard hook-up with Brandon Thompkins tying the game at 7-apiece.

Then after an 11 yard TD connection from Erik Meyer to Rashard Carter put the Shock (8-7) back on top at 14-7, Garcia found Donovan Morgan over the middle for a 29 yard score. Kenny Spencer missed the extra point and the KISS trailed 14-13 after one.

Los Angeles (3-11) was shutout in the second quarter. In the meantime, Meyer – who completed 23 of 34 passes for 214 yards and six touchdowns – got one of them on a 17 yard hook-up with Carter again making it 21-13, Spokane.

On the ensuing drive Garcia was picked off Terrance Sanders resulting in another Shock touchdown.

When the KISS got the ball back, Garcia was driving them towards the Spokane endzone. On second and seven from the Shock 20, Garcia went back to pass and was hit by Paul Stephens – HARD. And according to head coach Bob McMillen Garcia was hit late.

Stephens wasn’t ejected from the game to McMillen’s displeasure. The team is planning to file a complaint with the league office for action against Stephens. To hear from coach McMillen and Garcia about the hit, click on the video with this story.

Garcia was down on the carpet for about five minutes with numbness in his shoulders. He regained feeling and was helped off the field replaced by Kenny Guiton (completed 5 of 9 passes, 82 yards, 2 TDs one INT) for the remainder of the drive and was unable to get six.

Garcia (16 or 25, 203 yards, 3 TDs, one INT), who was also sacked three times, came back just before halftime thaqt saw the Shock hit intermission with a 35-13 lead.

Los Angeles was forced to play catch-up which shortens an already short field for the opposition making it too difficult to come back.

The KISS host San Jose on Sunday, July 6th. Los Angeles lost the first two meetings against the SaberCats this season. Kick-off at Honda Center is set for 5pm.

L.A. KISS coach WANTS YOU! after getting “Shocked” by Spokane, 70-21

ANAHEIM, CA – Last time I was at a professional football game in Anaheim on a Sunday afternoon was sometime in December of 1994. The last pro game the Rams played at the “Bigger A” was Christmas Eve of ’94 which was a Saturday.

The Rams lost to Washington, 24-21 then headed to St. Louis.

I was, rudely, welcomed back with another disappointing performance on the field by the home team.

The LA KISS got shocked losing to Spokane, 70-21.
The LA KISS got shocked losing to Spokane, 70-21.

On this Sunday – May 4th 2014 – just short of 20 years later, I’m sitting in the Honda Center hockey press box, not to watch the Anaheim Ducks, but the Arena Football League’s newest franchise – the LA KISS, owned by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the legendary rock group, KISS – take on the Spokane Shock with 10,552 fans in the building and a National TV audience on ESPN2.

The "WOW" factor isn't on the field but above it at all LAKISS football games.
The “WOW” factor isn’t on the field but above it at all LAKISS football games.

How can you not like an indoor football game with go-go dancers in cages high atop each back corner of both end zones?

I’ll tell you how. When the home team – the KISS – embarrasses itself with a 70-21 drubbing at the hands of the Spokane Shock.

The beating was so bad that during his post game press conference KISS head coach Bob McMillen asked for tapes and resumes from anyone who could play football. I was there to catch it of course so take a look at my video report at the end of this article.

Before the KISS could get anything going and thanks to two turnovers – one an interception by QB J.J. Raterink, who had three in the game, and then a muffed kickoff off the end zone crossbar A.J. Cruz couldn’t recover – they found themselves down 28-0 early in the second quarter.

Spokane QB Erik Meyer threw for two scores completing 10 of 17 passes for 89 yards and ran for two more before being sacked by L.A. LB Beau Bell on his throwing shoulder sending him to the bench for good with an unspecified collarbone injury.

The KISS threatened to make a game of it scoring twice in the last three minutes of the first half. J.J Raterink (9 of 30, 101 yards 2 TD’s, 3 INT’s, 2 sacks) found Samie Parker for a four-yard touchdown making the score 28-7.

More than 10,000 fans saw the LA KISS lose, 70-21.
More than 10,000 fans saw the LA KISS lose, 70-21.

On the Shock’s ensuing drive that stalled, kicker Taylor Rowan missed a 33-yard field goal attempt that was taken off the end zone cage by Cruz and returned 50-yards for another KISS score cutting the lead in half, 28-14. Looked as if it was going to be a party all night long, and it was………for the Shock.

Taking over the QB duties for the Shock was wide receiver – yes, I said wide receiver – Rashaad Carter who looked like he was meant to play quarterback. He completed 4 of 7 passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns both coming in the last 31 seconds of the second quarter.

The first on a 45 yard bomb to Brandon Thompkins who finished with seven catches for 89yards. Then Adron Tennell got into the act after one of the KISS turnovers – L.A. had five in the game – catching one of his three TD scores from 13 yards out.

That made the halftime score, 42-14 and all the crowd had to look forward to – aside from the go-go dancers in their cages at each far corner of both end zones – was the concert by Flashback Heart Attack appropriately covering Flock of Seagulls “I Ran (So Far Away).”

Did I mention the KISS Go-Go Dancers above each far corner of both end zones?
Did I mention the KISS Go-Go Dancers above each far corner of both end zones?

The KISS opened the second half with a 15 yard score from Raterink to Donovan Morgan making the score 42-21. The wouldn’t get any closer as turnovers inside L.A.’s own one yard line helped Spokane score the next four unanswered touchdowns.

The KISS fall to 2-5 on the season losing their third straight. They head to Cleveland on Saturday to take on the Gladiators who started L.A. on its losing streak with a 40-20 win last month at Honda Center.

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