Utah Shock 27, Brigham Sting 22
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Kearns, Utah- Kearns High School


In what may be the newest, and actually exciting, rivalry in the RMFL: the Utah Shock and Brigham Sting squared off for their first meeting since 2014.


The Shock received the opening kickoff and did little with it.  After a 3-and-out, the Shock punted away from their own 34-yard line and after a 2-yard return, the Sting offense took the field at their own 40. The remainder of the 1st quarter would be frustrating for both teams.  There was almost as much back and forth from penalties as there was gained or lost yardage from actual plays.  30 of the Shock’s 45 defensive penalty yards were from off-side calls, 20 of which were during the Sting’s 1st quarter drive.  The Shock defense stuffed a lot of the run and all of the passing game during this drive.  However, big yardage runs by RBs Wes Rees and Shay Kaleikini, along with Shock-turned-Sting QB Jordan Wager’s impressive scrambling, kept the sticks moving. The quarter ended with the Sting still in possession on the Shock 5.


The 2nd Quarter opened up with an incomplete pass, immediately followed by a 5 yard run up the middle for 6 by RB Wes Rees.  LB Kelon Brooks blocked the PAT to keep the score, 6-0. A 33 yard kick return by Sam Thomas set the Shock offense up with great field position, starting the drive from their own 45.  Most notable of this drive was the Wissler to RB screen pass, where IK Ubani would take it 36 yards to the Sting 2.  Two plays later, Ubani would walk it into the endzone, putting the Shock on the scoreboard.  Bryce Kennington’s PAT was blocked by Jimbo Adams to keep the score tied at 6.


The Sting were able to convert once during their next offensive drive but were soon forced to punt, where a backward 10 yard roll once again gave the Shock great field position.  Back-to-back runs by Matt Mann put the Shock well within the Sting’s red zone.  However, a block in the back penalty pushed the Shock back out to the 20.  The next play had QB Jeff Wissler airing out for a touchdown to a ready WR Graham Smith.  Kennington’s PAT went through the uprights to give the Shock a 13-6 lead.  


The Sting and Shock would alternate scoring through the rest of the quarter, with the Sting’s Jordan Beyer kicking a field goal and Wissler once again finding Smith for a last second 10-yard touchdown pass, followed by a successful PAT by Kennington. The Shock led 20-9 at halftime.


The 3rd Quarter was pretty uneventful with the usual suspects from both sides had breakaway runs to help their respective offenses move the ball.  Each team scored once featuring a Sting missed PAT and a successful Shock PAT.  The 3rd Quarter ended with the score at 27-15 in favor of the Shock.


Time for 4th Quarter fireworks!  After a battling 31-yard run by RB Mike Messinger into the Shock red zone, the Sting converted for another first down on a combination of Wager passing and shifty running.  Rees scored on a 3rd and goal from the 2-yard line that was followed by a successful PAT, closing the gap to 27-22.  


The Sting attempted an onside kick, which did not travel 10 yards, and the Shock receiving team tried to help out by pursuing it anyway.  The Shock recovered and took possession on the Sting 41 to start their drive.  Fast forward to “The Call” or “The Whistle”.  On a 2nd and 5 run, Shock RB Matt Mann was stuffed by a wall of Sting.  There are varying opinions on the officiating at this point and how the play should have gone (Shock say the whistle was about a second too late and it should have been down; Sting say that the play was live and that the strip and subsequent 53-yard return to the endzone should have stood).  However, a whistle was blown and the compromise was, “Inadvertant whistle after the strip, Sting ball on their own 39.”  After a blocked pass at the line by Shock DT Junior Tagovailoa and a deflected pass by the Shock secondary, Wager’s 3rd and 10 attempt was picked off by Shock LB Kelon Brooks for a 14-yard return, turning the ball back over to the Shock, who would run out the clock for the win.  Expect to see these 2 teams square off again in June (probably LATE June).


Sting QB Jordan Wager completed 11 of 24 for 137 yards and 1 TD.  Shock QB Jeff Wissler completed 13 of 22 for 213 yards and 3 TDs.  Sting RB Mike Messinger led the Sting rush with 15 carries for 120 yards and 1 TD.  Shock RBs IK Ubani and Matt Mann split the Shock rush with 12 carries for 54 yards and 1 TD and 6 carries for 49 yards, respectively.  Sam Thomas was the Shock reception yards leader with 4 catches for 63 yards and a touchdown, but Graham Smith had 2 touchdowns to accompany his 4 catches for 39 yards.  Sting receiving yardage was led by Colten Stark with 5 receptions for 32 yards.  RB Wes Rees had only 4 catches but took them for a combined 83 yards and a touchdown.


 Next week, both teams will head south to Las Vegas, where the Shock will take on #1 Vegas Trojans and the Sting will play the last place Las Vegas Raiders immediately afterward.  Both games will be at Coronado High School in Henderson, NV.