Fever fall short against Danger, 66-62

May 3, 2014 

Saturday night’s Indoor Football League game between the visiting Nebraska Danger and the Tri-Cities Fever was an offensive shootout.

Unfortunately for the Fever, it didn’t have enough offense to match the Danger, losing 66-62 in the Toyota Center.

The loss drops the Fever to 3-6, while the Danger, leading the Intense Conference, is now 7-2.

Nebraska’s offense couldn’t be stopped by the Tri-Cities defense.

The Danger offensive unit scored at least three points on 10 of 12 offensive possessions.

The Fever offense, meanwhile, didn’t have a completely bad game. In the second half, Tri-Cities scored on four of five possessions.

But the turning point came in the fourth quarter.

When Tri-Cities’ Jackie Chambers caught a 5-yard TD pass from Fever quarterback Houston Lillard, it cut Nebraska’s lead to 52-50 with 12:34 to play.

But Nebraska responded with Danger QB Jameel Sewell hitting Cortez Paige for a 2-yard TD pass on the next possession for a 59-50 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Fever up man Lionel Singleton tried to corral kicker Joe Houston’s squib kick, but he couldn’t.

Instead, the Danger’s Andre Piper-Jordan recovered it at the Tri-Cities 15.

Three plays later, Sewell dived in from the 1 for another TD and a 66-50 lead with 7:40 to play.

A slow start plagued the Tri-Cities offense, which could only muster a field goal in its first offensive possession.

Nebraska kicker Joe Houston kept giving Fever kickoff return men fits with his squib kicks, and Tri-Cities started its second offensive possession at its own 1 yard line.

Four plays later, Lillard was sacked in the end zone for a safety.

After that, the Danger defense couldn’t stop the Fever offense, which scored TDs on its next five possessions.

Unfortunately for the Tri-Cities defense, Nebraska scored touchdowns on its first six offensive possessions.

The second quarter was an offensive slugfest, with Lillard tossing four touchdown passes and Sewell throwing three.

But Sewell’s last one ended up being costly.

With 21.9 seconds left in the half, Sewell hit a wide open Troy Evans coming out of the backfield, and the standout running back found himself in the end zone 24 yards later for a 43-28 Danger lead.

But then Evans celebrated by taking off his helmet. Officials threw a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.

And then Evans went into the stands to give someone the football. While IFL rules state that home team players can do that, visiting players cannot do it.

Officials tossed another unsportsmanlike flag at him and he was ejected, leaving Nebraska without its star running back for the second half.

It didn’t matter though.

Sewell carried the Danger, tossing four TD passes and scoring three more himself.

The Fever plays at Bemidji next Saturday.

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