Fever run into Danger with slow start

March 14, 2014 

There is a reason the Nebraska Danger won the Intense Conference title last season.

On Friday night, the Danger reminded the visiting Tri-Cities Fever of that with a 77-46 Indoor Football League victory in Grand Island, Neb.

“If we play poorly like we did in the first half, this is what a good team does to you,” said Fever coach Adam Shackleford, whose team falls to 1-2. “If we don’t learn from this, we’re fools.”

It didn’t help the Fever’s cause when the Danger jumped out to a 21-0 lead, as Tri-Cities’ offense started its first three series with a missed field goal, a turnover on downs and pick-6 by Nebraska’s Jamar Love.

Meanwhile, Nebraska quarterback Jameel Sewell — last season’s IFL MVP — hit Andre Piper-Jordan with touchdown passes of 30 and 20 yards in the first two series.

“We were all so suprised we won by that much,” said Danger coach Mike Davis. “We are a slow starting football team. We got some momentum. I’ve been telling the guys all week it’ll be a race to 50. If we can get there first, we can win.”

Part of the Fever’s problem was that wide receiver Jackie Chambers and linebacker Boris Lee failed to make the trip with the team.

Chambers was hurt on the final play of last week’s 47-40 home loss to Sioux Falls, and Lee was also hurt during the game.

“The thing about Coach Shack is his team is gonna go a long way,” said Davis, whose team improves to 3-1. “Losing guys like Jackie Chambers and Boris Lee didn’t help them. We harped all week on Jackie, Jackie, Jackie.”

Defensively, the Danger put pressure on Fever quarterback Dante Warren all night.

“Our D-line tonight was out of this world,” Davis said.

He was right. Warren was sacked by Nebraska defenders seven times, including two each by Claude Wroten and Aronde Stanton.

“I can’t say they did anything we weren’t ready for,” Warren admitted. “They came quick, but I needed to get the ball out of my hands quicker.”

The Fever also turned the ball over four times — one fumble and three interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns by Love.

Defensive back Pig Brown led the Danger with 12 tackles and an interception.

“We just can’t turn the ball over like that,” said Shackleford.

Piper-Jordan caught four passes for 76 yards for the Danger. All four catches were touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Nebraska running back Troy Evans, who was a standout last season for the Wyoming Cavalry, rushed for 109 yards on 12 carries, and he scored three touchdowns.

Warren finished with 252 yards of total offense for the Fever, throwing two touchdown passes and scoring another.

Receiver Dejuan Miller caught three passes for 80 yards for Tri-Cities, which plays at Colorado next, on March 22.

Donyae Coleman led the Fever with eight tackles and one interception.

But in the end, the Fever just made too many mistakes against the Danger.

“What we take out of this is we have to start early,” said Warren. “You take away that you play an away game as well as you do at home. Every one of us has got to turn on their crowd blockers, everyone has got to concentrate harder.”

Shackleford agrees.

“We can’t play like this against anybody and expect to win,” said Shackleford.

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