Fever at 10: First IFL game a marathon

Tri-City HeraldFebruary 20, 2014 

Editor’s note: When the Tri-Cities Fever opens its Indoor Football League season at home against the Wyoming Cavalry on Feb. 28, it will mark the franchise’s 10th campaign. Over the next 10 days, the Herald will look at the top 10 moments and top 10 players in franchise history. Today is No. 8:

No. 8 moment

In 2010, Teri and J.R. Carr decided to move the Tri-Cities Fever out of the af2 and into the United Indoor Football League. At the last minute, the Carrs made a move into the Indoor Football League.

Head coach Adam Shackleford, who had but a few months (rather than the normal six months) to put together a team, scrambled to get his roster together and head up to Fairbanks for the team’s first IFL game on March 8, 2010.

It turned out to be a doozy.

The Fever ended up falling to the host Grizzlies by a 69-67 score in four overtimes.

Yes, four. The game went on for four hours.

Quarterback Andy Collins led the Fever with 260 yards passing and six TD passes. He also ran in for another TD.

The lead changed hands five times and the game was tied another six times.

Fairbanks looked to have the game wrapped up in regulation, leading 41-34 with less than a minute remaining, when the Fever's Blair Boynton intercepted a tipped Matt Bassenoer pass.

Collins then hit Thyron Lewis with a game-tying score from 8 yards out with 36 seconds remaining to force overtime with the game tied 41-41.

No. 8 player

Wide receiver J.R. Thomas

Thomas was a speedy wideout who rolled up the statistics for the Fever. In 2007, Thomas caught 135 passes, had 1,851 yards in receiving and 38 touchdowns. But the team finished 8-9.

In 2008, he caught 97 passes for 1,299 yards and a team-high 29 TDs.

Unfortunately, the Fever struggled in the win-loss department, going 4-12 in that last season.

“We could never stop the guy,” said Fever coach Adams Shackleford, who faced Thomas in af2 play while he coached the Spokane Shock.

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