Fire to battle Steamwheelers
The Louisville Fire (2-3) will head north this weekend to the banks of the Mississippi to face old rival Quad City (1-4) on Saturday night. The Steamwheelers defeated the Fire the first four times the teams played; however the Fire has taken three of five from the Steamwheelers over the last three seasons. The Fire is looking to rebound from a 63-60 loss at Birmingham last Friday night, while Quad City is coming off a 59-52 overtime victory at Central Valley.
On the offense side of the ball the Fire has improved every game, including two 60 point performances in the last three games. Quarterback Brett Dietz is currently second in the league completing 69.8% of his passes and tenth in pass rating at 111.5. Fire offensive specialist Rob Mager has been Dietz's favorite target this season hauling in 40 receptions for 585 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Steamwheelers have also put up very impressive numbers on offense this season. Veteran quarterback Tim Hicks ranks in the top 10 in six offensive categories including second in total offense (311.8 yards a game) and second in passing yards a game, 303.8. Jack Walker Jr. has been Hick's go to guy this season catching 43 passes for 483 yards and eight touchdowns.
Defensively the Fire has allowed more than 40 points just twice all season and is tied for seventh in the league giving up 45.2 points a game. The defense has been solid all around including defensive lineman Sheldon Connor's three and a half sacks. The secondary is young but Jeremy Chandler and Kabote Sikyala have both grabbed three interceptions this season. The Fire defense must be prepared to stop a Steamwheeler offense averaging over 50 points a game.
Special teams will also be a critical factor in this game. The Fire is coming off a game that saw Lance Taylor return two kicks for touchdowns. Nate Green has also returned one kick for a touchdown this season. The Fire must also win the turnover battle against the 'Wheelers to bring home a victory. The Fire is currently even in turnovers, gaining 10 and losing 10, while Quad City is negative nine, gaining three and losing 12.
Saturday's game will kick off at 8:15 and can be heard on 1080-AM WKJK or louisvillefirefootball.com.
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