The Tri-Cities Fever goes deep into the heart of Texas today to take on the Texas Revolution in a key Indoor Football League contest for Adam Shacklefords team.
The Fever has won three of its last four games, but sitting with a 4-6 record in the Intense Conference 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot with the Colorado Ice (6-3) ahead of it.
So like the last few weeks, Saturday's game (5:05 p.m. kickoff) is another must-win situation for Tri-Cities.
And theyll have to do it against rookie quarterback Jimmy Coy, who started the season for Texas, leading it to a 2-1 record, before getting hurt.
Now, hes back.
I think itll help them a lot, said Shackleford. With him out, turnovers have hurt them.
So Shackleford will want his defensive unit to put pressure on Coy.
Weve got to make him feel uncomfortable out there since he hasnt played in a while, Shackleford said. Weve also got to stop their top receiver, Clinton Solomon. And we have got to be always aware of where Frankie Solomon Jr. is out there, whether when he returns kicks or in the defensive secondary.
The Fever comes into the game fresh off a last-minute 51-50 victory on the road over the Bemidji Axemen last Saturday.
It gave the guys some confidence, said Shackleford. We talked all week to keep the pressure on those guys. To start early and score. I dont think the crowd will be a problem. Their attendance isnt that good.
Texas (2-7) has struggled with a six-game losing streak.
Notes: Fever defensive end Brandon Rankin was named the IFLs Defensive Player of the Week, after he sacked Bemidji quarterback Cody Kirby three times in last weeks victory. ... Shackleford said Fever running back Keithon Flemming and defensive back Lionell Singleton are helathy this week. Both made the trip to Texas after not being able to travel to Minnesota last week.
By the numbers: The Fever ranks fourth in the league in scoring offense at 50.1 points a game. The Revolution is eighth at 39.4. ... Texas is sixth in scoring defense at 47.0 points a game, while the Fever is seventh at 53.9. ... Texas ranks fourth in total defense allowing 229.4 yards per game, while the Fever is eighth at 264.4 The Revs Ramonce Taylor leads the league in all-purpose yards with 977 Fever running back Keithon Flemming is third in scoring points per game, averaging 10. Fever quarterback Houston Lillard ranks fourth in the league in passing TDs with 24. Texas WR Clinton Solomon leads the league in receptions with 58 and is second with 12 receiving TDs.