Fever, Cavalry to meet Saturday night

Tri-City HeraldMay 10, 2013 

Fresh off winning his Indoor Football League Offensive Player of the Week award, Tri-Cities Fever quarterback Dante Warren was busy trying to stretch his legs Friday afternoon.

“We were on a bus for 16 hours,” he said in a phone interview from Casper, Wyo.

As the Fever prepares for its road game against the Wyoming Cavalry at 6:05 p.m. today, Warren and his teammates are concentrating on one thing at a time as they try to make the playoffs.

“Every possession is a playoff possession,” Warren said. “Every drive is important.”

The Fever sports a 3-6 record and has won two consecutive games. The Cavalry is 1-7, with its lone victory a 36-34 decision last month over Tri-Cities.

As Tri-Cities tries to avoid a repeat of a loss in Wyoming, Fever coach Adam Shackleford said a few things have to happen.

“We have to play an absolutely clean game,” said Shackleford. “We don’t want to give the officials a chance to make any calls. Our offense can’t have any turnovers, and our defense needs to get some turnovers.”

Warren agrees.

“We have to keep doing what we’ve been doing the past few games: play hard, never say never, and execute when we need to,” Warren said. “We’ll take the 1-on-1 opportunities when we get them. Pretty much in this game, you take what they give you.”

Wyoming coach Ryan Lingenfelder will be looking at matchups.

“It’s gonna be all about personnel and trying to find a mismatch,” said the former Fever defensive coordinator. “I know Shack signed (defensive lineman) Vaalyn Jackson this week. So I know one of their defensive lineman are hurt. If it’s one of the top three up front, we’ll have an advantage with our offensive line. Then you’ll have to look at our receiving corps versus their linebackers and defensive backs.”

Lingenfelder signed quarterback Brendan Crawford last week and started him against the Colorado Ice.

“We spotted Colorado 20 points to start the game and lost by 10 (51-41),” said Lingenfelder. “Crawford had a good game. He fumbled the ball a few times, but he was trying to make plays. He had three days of practice with us. I think this game (against the Fever) we’ll be the most prepared we’ve been all season.”

Notes: Shackleford said DL Billy Harrison (knee) will not play. ... The Fever’s 70-68 win over Cedar Rapids wasn’t easy last week. The Titans showed why they are a strong team. “If they were on our side of the league, they’d be at the top,” said Shackleford. ... Warren said he had to take his offensive line out for dinner after earning the IFL award this week. Where does a quarterback on a limited budget take his line? “To a buffet,” said Warren. ... Wyoming has the league’s worst offense, scoring just 218 points on the season. The team with the next lowest point total is Green Bay with 326 points scored … Tri-Cities ranks fourth in the league in scoring at 46.7 points per game. Wyoming is averaging just 27.3 … Fever WR Steven Whitehead is tied for fifth in the league with 44 receptions … Fever DB Lionell Singleton is tied for the league lead with six interceptions; he also ranks eighth in tackles with 61.

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