Fever Fall Just Short
The Tri-Cities Fever has been close. And it was again Saturday night.
But in the end, the Fever fell short, losing 55-49 to the Kent Predators in its 2010 Indoor Football League home opener at Toyota Center in front of 3,100 fans.
The Fever falls to 0-3 heading into another bye week before hosting Fairbanks on April 10, while Kent earns its first win in franchise history.
"Give them a lot of credit," Fever coach Adam Shackleford said. "They had a good game plan."
The Fever, in its first season in the IFL, has lost its first three games by an average of seven points, and been in each game until the closing minutes.
Saturday night was no exception.
Tyson Thompson scored with 1:57 left in the game to cut the margin to 55-49. But, the Fever defense could not slow down Kent quarterback Charles
McCullum enough on the final drive as the Predators ran out the clock.
McCullum proved to be a handful all night for the depleted Fever defense that spent the majority of the game on the field.
McCullum and the Predators did their best work on the ground, rushing the ball 48 times for 210 yards.
McCullum alone had 30 rushes for 124 yards and three touchdowns against a defense that was missing its top two linebackers in Derek Nicholson and Jo Artis Ratti.
McCullum was also 10-of-13 passing for 164 yards and four more touchdowns. Kent ran 62 offensive plays for 371 yards. The Fever ran just 35 for 214 yards.
"Our defense was out there for a long time," Shackleford said. "They were able to run a lot of clock."
The Fever, which got off to a slow start in its first two losses of the season, did not waste any time in putting on an offensive display in front of its home crowd against the Predators (1-3).
Tri-Cities racked up a season-high 35 points in the first half, thanks in large part to wide receiver
Thyron Lewis. Lewis had three first-half touchdowns, including one as time expired in the first half that tied the game at 35.
Lewis finished with seven catches for 170 yards and four touchdowns.
The Fever took its opening possession of the game and went 30 yards for a touchdown to take a quick 6-0 lead. Kent came right back on its first drive with
McCullum scoring the first of his three touchdowns on the ground to take a 7-6 lead. After a big return by Tyson Thompson on the ensuing kickoff, the Fever was back in the end zone two plays later on a Collins' 1-yard TD run to give the Fever the lead back at 13-7. The two teams traded touchdowns until the third quarter when the Predators took the lead for good at 49-42 with 4:50 left.
"We're just coming together," Lewis said. "It's all about us and momentum. We'll get there."
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Indoor Football League Stories from March 28, 2010
- Spartans Announce Big Plans For Home Opener Week - La Crosse Spartans
- Spartans Downed By Storm - La Crosse Spartans
- Altitude 2 Joins B2 Television/IFL Network - IFL
- Fever Fall Just Short - Tri-Cities Fever
- Predators Bring Back Victory To Kent - Seattle Timberwolves
- Raiders Rally but Fall - Rochester Raiders
- Over a Cup of Coffee - OSC Original by Jerry Hewitt
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