It’s a much happier Erik Meyer this time around.
The former Eastern Washington University quarterback has emerged from a potentially career-ending injury a year ago March to become the Arena Football League’s leading passer with the undefeated (3-0) Spokane Shock.
Meyer leads his team into Friday’s 7 p.m. home opener against defending AFL champion Arizona after tossing nine touchdown passes in Spokane’s 66-43 win last Friday over the Iowa Barnstormers.
In three games this season Meyer has completed 82 of 110 passes for .745 percent and 24 TDs and no interceptions. He’s also had a pair of running touchdowns.
In Friday’s win at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Meyer passed for nine touchdowns, six in the second half, as the Shock completed three straight road games with the best start in the eight-year history of the team.
His effort came against the team – and the player, John Mohring – who knocked Meyer out of Spokane’s opening game last year with a brutal illegal helmet-to-helmet hit. Meyer stayed prone on the turf for several minutes before being helped off the field and put on injured reserve for the season.
For his part in the incident, Mohring was ejected and then suspended for a number of games. But he was in his old form Friday, to the point where Mohring again delivered a late hit on Meyer.
This time it was not flagged, even though he hit Meyer in the face and helmet. But Meyer didn’t back down from it. “I was pretty upset and I let him know he was a cheap player,” Meyer said in postgame remarks Friday.
Plus, Meyer got the last laugh on the scoreboard, he said. “Not only did we win, we won in convincing fashion,” Meyer said. “That was our goal, we said at halftime we’ll beat this team by 30.”
“I marked this game on the calendar soon as I signed on,” Meyer said.
Meyer had eight touchdown passes in Spokane’s season-opening 67-4 win at Cleveland and added another seven at Chicago, March 31 in the Shock’s 76-61 win.
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.